v. (setting; past and past part. set)
1 tr. put, lay, or stand (a thing) in a certain position or location (set it on the table; set it upright).
2 tr. (foll. by to) apply (one thing) to (another) (set pen to paper).
3 tr. a fix ready or in position. b dispose suitably for use, action, or display.
4 tr. a adjust the hands of (a clock or watch) to show the right time. b adjust (an alarm clock) to sound at the required time.
5 tr. a fix, arrange, or mount. b insert (a jewel) in a ring, framework, etc.
6 tr. make (a device) ready to operate.
7 tr. lay (a table) for a meal.
8 tr. arrange (the hair) while damp so that it dries in the required style.
9 tr. (foll. by with) ornament or provide (a surface, esp. a precious item) (gold set with gems).
10 tr. bring by placing or arranging or other means into a specified state; cause to be (set things in motion; set it on fire).
11 intr. & tr. harden or solidify (the jelly is set; the cement has set).
12 intr. (of the sun, moon, etc.) appear to move towards and below the earth's horizon (as the earth rotates).
13 tr. represent (a story, play, scene, etc.) as happening in a certain time or place.
14 tr. a (foll. by to + infin.) cause or instruct (a person) to perform a specified activity (set them to work). b (foll. by pres. part.) start (a person or thing) doing something (set him chatting; set the ball rolling).
15 tr. present or impose as work to be done or a matter to be dealt with (set them an essay).
16 tr. exhibit as a type or model (set a good example).
17 tr. initiate; take the lead in (set the fashion; set the pace).
18 tr. establish (a record etc.).
19 tr. determine or decide (the itinerary is set).
20 tr. appoint or establish (set them in authority).
21 tr. join, attach, or fasten.
22 tr. a put parts of (a broken or dislocated bone, limb, etc.) into the correct position for healing. b deal with (a fracture or dislocation) in this way.
23 tr. (in full set to music) provide (words etc.) with music for singing.
24 tr. (often foll. by up) Printing a arrange or produce (type or film etc.) as required. b arrange the type or film etc. for (a book etc.).
25 intr. (of a tide, current, etc.) have a certain motion or direction.
26 intr. (of a face) assume a hard expression.
27 tr. a cause (a hen) to sit on eggs. b place (eggs) for a hen to sit on.
28 tr. put (a seed, plant, etc.) in the ground to grow.
29 tr. give the teeth of (a saw) an alternate outward inclination.
30 tr. esp. US start (a fire).
31 intr. (of eyes etc.) become motionless.
32 intr. feel or show a certain tendency (opinion is setting against it).
33 intr. a (of blossom) form into fruit. b (of fruit) develop from blossom. c (of a tree) develop fruit.
34 intr. (in full set to partner) (of a dancer) take a position facing one's partner.
35 intr. (of a hunting dog) take a rigid attitude indicating the presence of game.
36 intr. dial. or sl. sit.
Phrases and idioms:
set about
1 begin or take steps towards.
2 colloq. attack.
set (a person or thing) against (another)
1 consider or reckon (a thing) as a counterpoise or compensation for.
2 cause to oppose. set apart separate, reserve, differentiate. set aside see ASIDE.
set back
1 place further back in place or time.
2 impede or reverse the progress of.
3 colloq. cost (a person) a specified amount.
set-back n.
1 a reversal or arrest of progress.
2 a relapse. set by archaic save for future use.
set down
1 record in writing.
2 allow to alight from a vehicle.
3 (foll. by to) attribute to.
4 (foll. by as) explain or describe to oneself as. set eyes on see EYE. set one's face against see FACE. set foot on (or in) see FOOT. set forth 1 begin a journey.
2 make known; expound. set forward begin to advance. set free release. set one's hand to see HAND. set one's heart (or hopes) on want or hope for eagerly. set in 1 (of weather, a condition, etc.) begin (and seem likely to continue), become established.
2 insert (esp. a sleeve etc. into a garment). set little by consider to be of little value. set a person's mind at rest see MIND. set much by consider to be of much value.
set off
1 begin a journey.
2 detonate (a bomb etc.).
3 initiate, stimulate.
4 cause (a person) to start laughing, talking, etc.
5 serve as an adornment or foil to; enhance.
6 (foll. by against) use as a compensating item.
set-off n.
1 a thing set off against another.
2 a thing of which the amount or effect may be deducted from that of another or opposite tendency.
3 a counterpoise.
4 a counter-claim.
5 a thing that embellishes; an adornment to something.
6 Printing = OFFSET 7.
set on (or upon)
1 attack violently.
2 cause or urge to attack.
set out
1 begin a journey.
2 (foll. by to + infin.) aim or intend.
3 demonstrate, arrange, or exhibit.
4 mark out.
5 declare.
set sail
1 hoist the sails.
2 begin a voyage. set the scene see SCENE. set store by (or on) see STORE.
set one's teeth
1 clench them.
2 summon one's resolve. set to begin doing something vigorously, esp. fighting, arguing, or eating. set-to n. (pl. -tos) colloq. a fight or argument.
set up
1 place in position or view.
2 organize or start (a business etc.).
3 establish in some capacity.
4 supply the needs of.
5 begin making (a loud sound).
6 cause or make arrangements for (a condition or situation).
7 prepare (a task etc. for another).
8 restore or enhance the health of (a person).
9 establish (a record).
10 propound (a theory).
11 colloq. put (a person) in a dangerous or vulnerable position.
set-up n.
1 an arrangement or organization.
2 the manner or structure or position of this. set oneself up as make pretensions to being.
Etymology: OE settan f. Gmc
1 a number of things or persons that belong together or resemble one another or are usually found together.
2 a collection or group.
3 a section of society consorting together or having similar interests etc.
4 a collection of implements, vessels, etc., regarded collectively and needed for a specified purpose (cricket set; teaset; a set of teeth).
5 a piece of electric or electronic apparatus, esp. a radio or television receiver.
6 (in tennis etc.) a group of games counting as a unit towards a match for the player or side that wins a defined number or proportion of the games.
7 Math. & Logic a collection of distinct entities, individually specified or satisfying specified conditions, forming a unit.
8 a group of pupils or students having the same average ability.
9 a a slip, shoot, bulb, etc., for planting. b a young fruit just set.
10 a a habitual posture or conformation; the way the head etc. is carried or a dress etc. flows. b (also dead set) a setter's pointing in the presence of game.
11 the way, drift, or tendency (of a current, public opinion, state of mind, etc.) (the set of public feeling is against it).
12 the way in which a machine, device, etc., is set or adjusted.
13 esp. Austral. & NZ colloq. a grudge.
14 a the alternate outward deflection of the teeth of a saw. b the amount of this.
15 the last coat of plaster on a wall.
16 Printing a the amount of spacing in type controlling the distance between letters. b the width of a piece of type.
17 a warp or bend or displacement caused by continued pressure or a continued position.
18 a setting, including stage furniture etc., for a play or film etc.
19 a sequence of songs or pieces performed in jazz or popular music.
20 the setting of the hair when damp.
21 (also sett) a badger's burrow.
22 (also sett) a granite paving-block.
23 a predisposition or expectation influencing a response.
24 a number of people making up a square dance.
Phrases and idioms:
make a dead set at
1 make a determined attack on.
2 seek to win the affections of.
set point Tennis etc.
1 the state of a game when one side needs only one more point to win the set.
2 this point. set theory the branch of mathematics concerned with the manipulation of sets.
Etymology: sense
1 (and related senses) f. OF sette f. L secta SECT: other senses f. SET(1)

1 in senses of SET(1).
2 prescribed or determined in advance.
3 fixed, unchanging, unmoving.
4 (of a phrase or speech etc.) having invariable or predetermined wording; not extempore.
5 prepared for action.
6 (foll. by on, upon) determined to acquire or achieve etc.
7 (of a book etc.) specified for reading in preparation for an examination.
8 (of a meal) served according to a fixed menu.
Phrases and idioms:
set fair (of the weather) fine without a sign of breaking. set phrase an invariable or usual arrangement of words. set piece
1 a formal or elaborate arrangement, esp. in art or literature.
2 fireworks arranged on scaffolding etc. set screw a screw for adjusting or clamping parts of a machine. set scrum Rugby Football a scrum ordered by the referee. set square a right-angled triangular plate for drawing lines, esp. at 90°, 45°, 60°, or 30°.
Etymology: past part. of SET(1)

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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