Thesaurus

setting

noun

Synonyms of setting

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 the circumstances, conditions, or objects by which one is surrounded
  • the novice camper felt lost outside of his familiar urban setting

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2 the place and time in which the action for a portion of a dramatic work (as a movie) is set
  • the setting for the novel is Victorian England

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setting

verb
present participle of set

Synonyms & Antonyms of setting (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to cover and warm eggs as the young inside develop
  • the hen set for days

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2 to decide upon (the time or date for an event) usually from a position of authority
  • set a date for the wedding

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4 chiefly dialect to rest on the buttocks or haunches
  • come over and set for a spell

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5 to point or turn (something) toward a target or goal
  • determined to see the West, she set her car towards the sun and drove off

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7 to put securely in place or in a desired position
  • had the jeweler set the diamond again

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8 to turn from a liquid into a substance resembling jelly
  • the gelatin is just starting to set now

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10 to become physically firm or solid
  • the concrete must set completely before anyone can walk on it

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About setting

How is the word setting distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of setting are background, environment, milieu, and mise-en-scène. While all these words mean "the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs," setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms.

a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting

Where would background be a reasonable alternative to setting?

The meanings of background and setting largely overlap; however, background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development.

the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots

In what contexts can environment take the place of setting?

In some situations, the words environment and setting are roughly equivalent. However, environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development.

the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents

When might milieu be a better fit than setting?

Although the words milieu and setting have much in common, milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons.

an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation

When is mise-en-scène a more appropriate choice than setting?

The synonyms mise-en-scène and setting are sometimes interchangeable, but mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect.

a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

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Time Traveler for setting

Time Traveler

The first known use of setting was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Setting.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/setting. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on setting

Dictionary: Definition of setting

Nglish: Translation of setting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of setting for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about setting

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