set·​ting | \ ˈse-tiŋ How to pronounce setting (audio) \

Definition of setting

1 : the manner, position, or direction in which something is set
2 : the frame or bed in which a gem is set also : style of mounting
3a : the time, place, and circumstances in which something occurs or develops
b : the time and place of the action of a literary, dramatic, or cinematic work
c : the scenery used in a theatrical or film production
4 : the music composed for a text (such as a poem)
5 : the articles of tableware for setting a place at table two settings of sterling silver
6 : a batch of eggs for incubation

Choose the Right Synonym for setting

background, setting, environment, milieu, mise-en-scène mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. 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 setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms. a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting 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 milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons. an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation 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

Examples of setting in a Sentence

This would be a beautiful setting for a picnic. He tends to be shy in social settings. dining in a casual setting The movie changes the play's setting from the late 18th century to the year 2000. She uses modern-day Los Angeles as the setting for her book. Save money by turning the temperature settings up in the summer and down in the winter. She just learned how to change the settings on her camera. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The lack of Paxlovid prescribing is particularly surprising because the drug seems tailor-made for a congregate setting like a prison. Nicholas Florko, STAT, 9 May 2022 Days, weeks and sometimes months go by before elephants or giraffes or lions wander into a setting that will be transformed into a museum-quality photograph, an image meant to become a visual call to action. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2022 Will and his parents had come to the park on a whim, the perfect setting for a nice day. Ryan Kost, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 May 2022 The unique setting on top of the palm fronds and other lush greenery makes for a romantic meal. Jennifer Kester, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Instantly, Coastal Carolina offered a more comfortable setting for Repetto. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2022 The show features one-on-one conversations with the legendary talk show host and the celebrity guest inside and outside a studio setting. Carson Burton, Variety, 5 May 2022 The beauty of the estate’s setting is alluring in its own right, especially during spring, with Winterthur’s celebrated azalea woods and peony garden in bloom. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 That's because its formula is based on one of the brand's most beloved products, the SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray, which is one of our favorite setting sprays and midday refreshers. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 3 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of setting

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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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Dictionary Entries Near setting

set the world on fire


setting block

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Statistics for setting

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Setting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for setting


set·​ting | \ ˈse-tiŋ \

Kids Definition of setting

1 : the act of someone or something that sets
2 : that in which something is set or mounted a gold setting for a ruby
3 : the background (as time and place) of the action of a story or play

More from Merriam-Webster on setting

Nglish: Translation of setting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of setting for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about setting


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