setup

noun
set·​up | \ ˈset-ˌəp \

Definition of setup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : carriage of the body especially : erect and soldierly bearing
2a : the assembly and arrangement of the tools and apparatus required for the performance of an operation
b : the preparation and adjustment of machines for an assigned task
3a : a table setting
b : glass, ice, and mixer served to patrons who supply their own liquor
4a : a camera position from which a scene is filmed also : the footage taken from one camera position
b : the final arrangement of the scenery and properties for a scene of a theatrical or cinematic production
5a : a position of the balls in billiards or pool from which it is easy to score
b : a task or contest purposely made easy
c : something easy to get or accomplish
d : something (such as a plot) that has been constructed or contrived
e : the execution of a planned scoring play in sports
6a : the manner in which the elements or components of a machine, apparatus, or system are arranged, designed, or assembled
b : the patterns within which political, social, or administrative forces operate : customary or established practice
7 : project, plan
8 : something done by deceit or trickery in order to compromise or frame someone

set up

verb

Definition of set up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to raise to and place in a high position
b : to place in view : post
c : to put forward (something, such as a plan) for acceptance
2a : to place upright : erect set up a statue
b : to assemble the parts of and erect in position
c : to put (a machine) in readiness or adjustment for an operation
3a : cause, create set up a clamor
4 : to place in power or in office set up the general as dictator
5a : to raise from depression : elate, gratify
b : to make proud or vain
6a : to put forward or extol as a model
b : to claim oneself to be sets himself up as an authority
8a : to provide with means of making a living set him up in business
b : to bring or restore to normal health
c : to cause (one) to take on a soldierly or athletic appearance especially through drill
9 : to erect (a perpendicular or a figure) on a base in a drawing
10a : to make taut (a stay or hawser)
b : to tighten firmly
11 : to make carefully worked out plans for set up a bank robbery
12a : to pay for (drinks)
b : to treat (someone) to something
13a : to put in a compromising or dangerous position usually by trickery or deceit
14 : to execute one or more plays in preparation for scoring

intransitive verb

1 : to come into active operation or use
2 : to begin business
3 : to make pretensions has never set up to be a wise man— Thomas Rogers
4 : to become firm
set up housekeeping
: to establish one's living quarters
set up shop
: to start a business or activity in a particular place

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Setup vs. Set-Up vs. Set Up

The noun setup is usually styled as a solid compound (that is, as a single word) in American English and as a hyphenated compound (set-up) in British English. The noun may be used attributively (that is, as an adjective) in such phrases as setup man (“someone who makes machine tool adjustments”) and setup tool (“software that facilitates the installation of a computer program”). The verb set up, on the other hand, is usually found as an open compound (two words, no hyphen) in both American and British English.

Examples of setup in a Sentence

Noun

Setup of the new software is a breeze. It took me a while to learn the setup of the office's filing system. We had a great setup. On my days off, my wife would work from home while I took care of the kids. The software makes it easy to create custom setups.

Verb

set up tables in the living room for the party set up a scholarship fund for deserving students from the inner city
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To the right is the expansive Design Center, with staged living room and bedroom setups, wallpaper sample books, and a furniture station where shoppers can create custom pieces. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Anthropologie's New Store Is Like Disney For Design Lovers," 22 Oct. 2018 For a closer look at our solar power and energy-monitoring setup, watch Episode 2 of Home of the Future above. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Prefab smart home is solar powered by design," 13 Aug. 2018 But the intake and exhaust setup on the new blocks hints otherwise. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Lake X: Mercury Marine's Secret Boat Testing Site," 27 Dec. 2018 The building has a stage, a church-like setup for services and classrooms for religious education but has not been used for at least six months, Jeff Barlow said Monday. Brady Mccombs, The Seattle Times, "Polygamous group lets go of sprawling Arizona worship center," 10 Dec. 2018 Avenatti called the arrest a setup and said Daniels has performed the act at nearly a hundred strip clubs across the country. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Case dismissed against Stormy Daniels, porn actress suing Donald Trump, arrested at Columbus strip club," 12 July 2018 Things spiraled quickly for Conley, who had his worst outing since transitioning to a setup role this season. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins match largest blown lead in club history in demoralizing loss to Nationals," 5 July 2018 Honestly: There is no avoiding politics, rampant and pointed, with that setup. Michael Phillips, kansascity, "In ‘First Purge’ prequel, there’s no avoiding politics or buckets of blood," 3 July 2018 Amazon claims setup costs will be as low as $10,000. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Supreme Court, Amazon Deliveries, Apple and Samsung: CEO Daily for June 28, 2018," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Captive State answers the question by setting up a world already a decade deep into its otherworldly occupation. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 3 Jan. 2019 The touchscreen gives you access to a basic OS for things like setting up Wi-Fi, viewing data limits, and reading messages. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "AT&T 5G goes live this week with ridiculously overpowered hotspot," 20 Dec. 2018 Take your gathering to the next level: Keep your guests as energized as their pups by setting up a snack and coffee station. Shelby Deering, Country Living, "5 Party Ideas That Give Back to Your Community," 1 Nov. 2018 Instead of setting up a bench and hanging hooks on the wall, buy a unit that contains everything in one. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "10 Mudrooms That Are Actually The Opposite Of Embarrassing," 25 Oct. 2018 According to The Princess Diana Memorial Fund, set up in response to the donations which poured in at the time of her death, the general public and community groups donated some $44 million. Katie Frost, Harper's BAZAAR, "9 Reasons Princess Diana Was So Much More Than A Style Icon," 31 Aug. 2018 Here are the basic steps to setting up your own bullet journal! Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "How to Start a Bullet Journal," 29 Aug. 2018 Make dressing for school fun by setting up a mini at-home photoshoot of favorite outfit combinations and creating a back-to-school lookbook. Nadine Jolie Courtney, Good Housekeeping, "10 Back to School DIY Projects Your Kids Will Love," 23 July 2018 Beyond the current moon mission, China is scheduled to deploy a space station by 2022 and set up mankind’s first permanent lunar base eight years later. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "China Pushes for Primacy in Space," 31 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'setup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of setup

Noun

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Learn More about setup

Statistics for setup

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for setup

The first known use of setup was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for setup

setup

noun

English Language Learners Definition of setup

: the process of making something (such as a machine or computer program) ready to be used

: the way that something is done or organized

: a situation in which someone is deliberately put in a bad position or made to look guilty

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More from Merriam-Webster on setup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with setup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for setup

Spanish Central: Translation of setup

Nglish: Translation of setup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of setup for Arabic Speakers

Comments on setup

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