as in to lay
to cause to come to rest at the bottom (as of a liquid) the light rain will settle the dust in the air careful handling will settle the lees in the bottom of the wine bottle

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms

as in to inhabit
to supply with inhabitants the region was originally settled by farmers

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

as in to contain
to gain emotional or mental control of settled himself only with visible effort after the angry outburst

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in to shush
to stop the noise or speech of settled the class with a firm "quiet!"

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb settle differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of settle are decide, determine, resolve, and rule. While all these words mean "to come or cause to come to a conclusion," settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty.

the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy

When might decide be a better fit than settle?

While in some cases nearly identical to settle, decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy.

she decided to sell her house

When is it sensible to use determine instead of settle?

The words determine and settle can be used in similar contexts, but determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something.

determined the cause of the problem

When would resolve be a good substitute for settle?

In some situations, the words resolve and settle are roughly equivalent. However, resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something.

he resolved to quit smoking

In what contexts can rule take the place of settle?

Although the words rule and settle have much in common, rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority.

the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible

Thesaurus Entries Near settle

Cite this Entry

“Settle.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on settle

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!