to put (something or someone) in a particular place:to set a vase on a table.
to place in a particular position or posture:Set the baby on his feet.
to place in some relation to something or someone:We set a supervisor over the new workers.
to put into some condition:to set a house on fire.
to put or apply:to set fire to a house.
to put in the proper position:to set a chair back on its feet.
to put in the proper or desired order or condition for use:to set a trap.
to distribute or arrange china, silver, etc., for use on (a table):to set the table for dinner.
Clothingto place (the hair, esp. when wet) on rollers, in clips, or the like, so that the hair will assume a particular style.
to put (a price or value) upon something:He set $7500 as the right amount for the car. The teacher sets a high value on neatness.
to fix the value of at a certain amount or rate; value:He set the car at $500. She sets neatness at a high value.
to post, station, or appoint for the purpose of performing some duty:to set spies on a person.
to determine or fix definitely:to set a time limit.
to resolve or decide upon:to set a wedding date.
to cause to pass into a given state or condition:to set one's mind at rest; to set a prisoner free.
to direct or settle resolutely or wishfully:to set one's mind to a task.
to present as a model; place before others as a standard:to set a good example.
to establish for others to follow:to set a fast pace.
to prescribe or assign, as a task.
to adjust (a mechanism) so as to control its performance.
to adjust the hands of (a clock or watch) according to a certain standard:I always set my watch by the clock in the library.
to adjust (a timer, alarm of a clock, etc.) so as to sound when desired:He set the alarm for seven o'clock.
Jewelryto fix or mount (a gem or the like) in a frame or setting.
Jewelryto ornament or stud with gems or the like:a bracelet set with pearls.
to cause to sit; seat:to set a child in a highchair.
to put (a hen) on eggs to hatch them.
Animal Husbandryto place (eggs) under a hen or in an incubator for hatching.
to place or plant firmly:to set a flagpole in concrete.
to put into a fixed, rigid, or settled state, as the face, muscles, etc.
to fix at a given point or calibration:to set the dial on an oven; to set a micrometer.
to tighten (often fol. by up):to set nuts well up.
to cause to take a particular direction:to set one's course to the south.
Surgeryto put (a broken or dislocated bone) back in position.
(of a hunting dog) to indicate the position of (game) by standing stiffly and pointing with the muzzle.
Music and Dance
to fit, as words to music.
to arrange for musical performance.
to arrange (music) for certain voices or instruments.
to arrange the scenery, properties, lights, etc., on (a stage) for an act or scene.
to prepare (a scene) for dramatic performance.
Nautical, Naval Termsto spread and secure (a sail) so as to catch the wind.
Printingto arrange (type) in the order required for printing.
Printingto put together types corresponding to (copy); compose in type:to set an article.
[Baking.]to put aside (a substance to which yeast has been added) in order that it may rise.
to change into curd:to set milk with rennet.
Chemistryto cause (glue, mortar, or the like) to become fixed or hard.
to urge, goad, or encourage to attack:to set the hounds on a trespasser.
Games[Bridge.]to cause (the opposing partnership or their contract) to fall short:We set them two tricks at four spades. Only perfect defense could set four spades.
to affix or apply, as by stamping:The king set his seal to the decree.
to fix or engage (a fishhook) firmly into the jaws of a fish by pulling hard on the line once the fish has taken the bait.
Buildingto sharpen or put a keen edge on (a blade, knife, razor, etc.) by honing or grinding.
Textilesto fix the length, width, and shape of (yarn, fabric, etc.).
Building[Carpentry.]to sink (a nail head) with a nail set.
Buildingto bend or form to the proper shape, as a saw tooth or a spring.
Buildingto bend the teeth of (a saw) outward from the blade alternately on both sides in order to make a cut wider than the blade itself.
Astronomyto pass below the horizon; sink:The sun sets early in winter.
to decline; wane.
to assume a fixed or rigid state, as the countenance or the muscles.
Clothing(of the hair) to be placed temporarily on rollers, in clips, or the like, in order to assume a particular style:Long hair sets more easily than short hair.
Chemistryto become firm, solid, or permanent, as mortar, glue, cement, or a dye, due to drying or physical or chemical change.
to sit on eggs to hatch them, as a hen.
to hang or fit, as clothes.
to begin to move; start (usually fol. by forth, out, off, etc.).
Botany(of a flower's ovary) to develop into a fruit.
Sport(of a hunting dog) to indicate the position of game.
Meteorologyto have a certain direction or course, as a wind, current, or the like.
Nautical, Naval Terms(of a sail) to be spread so as to catch the wind.
Printing(of type) to occupy a certain width:This copy sets to forty picas.
Slang Terms[Nonstandard.]sit:Come in and set a spell.
to begin on; start.
to undertake; attempt.
to assault; attack.
to cause to be hostile or antagonistic.
to compare or contrast:The advantages must be set against the disadvantages.
set ahead, to set to a later setting or time:Set your clocks ahead one hour.
to reserve for a particular purpose.
to cause to be noticed; distinguish:Her bright red hair sets her apart from her sisters.
to put to one side; reserve:The clerk set aside the silver brooch for me.
to dismiss from the mind; reject.
to prevail over; discard; annul:to set aside a verdict.
to hinder; impede.
to turn the hands of (a watch or clock) to show an earlier time:When your plane gets to California, set your watch back two hours.
to reduce to a lower setting:Set back the thermostat before you go to bed.
set by, to save or keep for future use.
to write or to copy or record in writing or printing.
to consider; estimate:to set someone down as a fool.
to attribute; ascribe:to set a failure down to bad planning.
to put in a position of rest on a level surface.
to humble or humiliate.
to land an airplane:We set down in a heavy fog.
(in horse racing) to suspend (a jockey) from competition because of some offense or infraction of the rules.
to give an account of; state; describe:He set forth his theory in a scholarly report.
to begin a journey; start:Columbus set forth with three small ships.
set forward, to turn the hands of (a watch or clock) to show a later time:When your plane lands in New York, set your watch forward two hours.
to begin to prevail; arrive:Darkness set in.
(of winds or currents) to blow or flow toward the shore.
to cause to become ignited or to explode.
to begin; start.
to intensify or improve by contrast.
to begin a journey or trip; depart.
Also, set upon. to attack or cause to attack:to set one's dog on a stranger.
to instigate; incite:to set a crew to mutiny.
set one's face against. See face (def. 35).
to begin a journey or course:to set out for home.
to undertake; attempt:He set out to prove his point.
to design; plan:to set out a pattern.
to define; describe:to set out one's arguments.
to plant:to set out petunias and pansies.
to lay out (the plan of a building) in actual size at the site.
to lay out (a building member or the like) in actual size.
set store by. See store (def. 9).
to make a vigorous effort; apply oneself to work; begin.
to begin to fight; contend.
to put upright; raise.
to put into a high or powerful position.
to construct; assemble; erect.
to be assembled or made ready for use:exercise equipment that sets up in a jiffy.
to inaugurate; establish.
to enable to begin in business; provide with means.
Informal Termsto make a gift of; treat, as to drinks.
Informal Termsto stimulate; elate.
to propound; plan; advance.
to bring about; cause.
to become firm or hard, as a glue or cement:a paint that sets up within five minutes.
to lead or lure into a dangerous, detrimental, or embarrassing situation, as by deceitful prearrangement or connivance.
to entrap or frame, as an innocent person in a crime or a criminal suspect in a culpable circumstance in order to achieve an arrest.
to arrange the murder or execution of:His partner set him up with the mob.
[Bridge.]to establish (a suit):to set up spades.
the act or state of setting or the state of being set.
a collection of articles designed for use together:a set of china; a chess set.
a collection, each member of which is adapted for a special use in a particular operation:a set of golf clubs; a set of carving knives.
a number, group, or combination of things of similar nature, design, or function:a set of ideas.
a series of volumes by one author, about one subject, etc.
a number, company, or group of persons associated by common interests, occupations, conventions, or status:a set of murderous thieves; the smart set.
Clothingthe fit, as of an article of clothing:the set of his coat.
fixed direction, bent, or inclination:The set of his mind was obvious.
bearing or carriage:the set of one's shoulders.
the assumption of a fixed, rigid, or hard state, as by mortar or glue.
Clothingthe arrangement of the hair in a particular style:How much does the beauty parlor charge for a shampoo and set?
Buildinga plate for holding a tool or die.
an apparatus for receiving radio or television programs; receiver.
Stamps[Philately.]a group of stamps that form a complete series.
Sport[Tennis.]a unit of a match, consisting of a group of not fewer than six games with a margin of at least two games between the winner and loser:He won the match in straight sets of 6–3, 6–4, 6–4.
a construction representing a place or scene in which the action takes place in a stage, motion-picture, or television production.
Mechanical Engineeringthe bending out of the points of alternate teeth of a saw in opposite directions.
Mechanical Engineeringa permanent deformation or displacement of an object or part.
Mechanical Engineeringa tool for giving a certain form to something, as a saw tooth.
Buildinga chisel having a wide blade for dividing bricks.
Botany[Hort.]a young plant, or a slip, tuber, or the like, suitable for planting.
Music and Dance[Dancing.]
the number of couples required to execute a quadrille or the like.
a series of movements or figures that make up a quadrille or the like.
Music and Dance
a group of pieces played by a band, as in a night club, and followed by an intermission.
the period during which these pieces are played.
Games[Bridge.]a failure to take the number of tricks specified by one's contract:Our being vulnerable made the set even more costly.
Naval Termsthe direction of a wind, current, etc.
Naval Termsthe form or arrangement of the sails, spars, etc., of a vessel.
Naval Termssuit (def. 12).
Animal Behavior, Psychology[Psychol.]a temporary state of an organism characterized by a readiness to respond to certain stimuli in a specific way.
Mininga timber frame bracing or supporting the walls or roof of a shaft or stope.
Building[Carpentry.]See nail set.
Mathematicsa collection of objects or elements classed together.
Printingthe width of a body of type.
Textilessett (def. 3).
fixed or prescribed beforehand:a set time; set rules.
specified; fixed:The hall holds a set number of people.
deliberately composed; customary:set phrases.
fixed; rigid:a set smile.
resolved or determined; habitually or stubbornly fixed:to be set in one's opinions.
completely prepared; ready:Is everyone set?
Informal Termsall set, in readiness; prepared:They were at the starting line and all set to begin.
(in calling the start of a race):Ready! Set! Go!
Also, get set!
Latin sectasect (in later use influenced by the verb, verbal and Middle Low German gesette set, suite)
Gmc *satjan, causative of *setjan to sit1; (noun, nominal) (in senses denoting the action of setting or the state of being set) Middle English set, set(t)e, derivative of the verb, verbal and its past participle; (in senses denoting a group) Middle English sette
bef. 900; (verb, verbal) Middle English setten, Old English settan; cognate with Old Norse setja, German setzen, Gothic satjan, all
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged position, locate, situate, plant. See put.
11.See corresponding entry in Unabridged estimate, appraise, evaluate, price, rate.
13.See corresponding entry in Unabridged establish.
55.See corresponding entry in Unabridged solidify, congeal, harden.
88.See corresponding entry in Unabridged clique. See circle.
90.See corresponding entry in Unabridged attitude.
91.See corresponding entry in Unabridged posture.
112.See corresponding entry in Unabridged predetermined.
116.See corresponding entry in Unabridged stubborn, obstinate.
The verbs set and sit1 are similar in form and meaning but different in grammatical use. Set is chiefly transitive and takes an object:Set the dish on the shelf.Its past tense and past participle are also set:Yesterday he set three posts for the fence. The judge has set the date for the trial.Set also has some standard intransitive uses, as "to pass below the horizon'' (The sun sets late in the northern latitudes during the summer) and "to become firm, solid, etc.'' (This glue sets quickly). The use of set for sit, "to be seated,'' is nonstandard:Pull up a chair and set by me.Sit is chiefly intransitive and does not take an object:Let's sit here in the shade.Its past tense and past participle are sat:They sat at the table for nearly two hours. Have they sat down yet?Transitive uses of sit include "to cause to sit'' (Pull up a chair and sit yourself down) and "to provide seating for'' (The waiter sat us near the window).
Set(set),USA pronunciationn.[Egyptian Relig.]
Eastern Religionsthe brother and murderer of Osiris, represented as having the form of a donkey or other mammal and regarded as personifying the desert.