- set1 W1S1 [set] v past tense and past participle set present participle setting▬▬▬▬▬▬▬1¦(put)¦2¦(put into surface)¦3¦(story)¦4¦(consider)¦5¦(establish something)¦6¦(start something happening)¦7¦(decide something)¦8¦(start working)¦9¦(machine/clock etc)¦10¦(liquid/glue/cement etc)¦11¦(sun)¦12 set (somebody) a goal13 set your heart/mind/sights on (doing) something14 set a record15 set the table16 set a trap17 set somebody free/loose18 set somebody straight/right19¦(face)¦20 set your jaw21¦(bone)¦22¦(class work)¦23¦(examination)¦24¦(printing)¦25¦(hair)¦Phrasal verbsset about something/somebodyset somebody/something against somebody/somethingset somebody/something apartset something<=>asideset somebody/something backset something/somebody<=>downset forthset inset offset on somebodyset outset toset up▬▬▬▬▬▬▬[: Old English; Origin: settan]1.) ¦(PUT)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition]written to carefully put something down somewhereset sth (down) on sth▪ She set the tray down on a table next to his bed.▪ Mark filled the pan and set it on the stove.set sth down/aside▪ The workmen set the box down carefully on the floor.▪ Remove the mushrooms and set them aside.2.) ¦(PUT INTO SURFACE)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition usually passive]to put something into a surfacebe set into sth▪ Gates should be hung on sturdy posts set well into the ground.be set into the wall/floor/ceiling etc(=be built into the surface of something so that it does not stick out)▪ an alarm button set into the wall beside the door3.) ¦(STORY)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition usually passive]if a film, play, story etc is set in a particular place or period, the action takes place there or thenbe set in sth▪ The novel is set in France in the early 19th century.be set against sth▪ All this romance is set against a backdrop of rural Irish life.4.) ¦(CONSIDER)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition]to consider something in relation to other thingsset sth against/beside sth▪ These casualty totals have to be set against the continuing growth in traffic.▪ This debate should be set in an international context .5.) ¦(ESTABLISH SOMETHING)¦ [T]to establish a way of doing something that is then copied or regarded as goodset the pattern/tone/trend etc (for sth)▪ Art and literature flourished and this set the pattern for the whole of Europe.▪ The Prime Minister's fierce speech set the tone for the rest of the conference.▪ It is important that parents set an example (=behave well) .▪ The outcome of the case will set a legal precedent .▪ His photographs set the standard for landscapes.▪ Freud's views on sexuality set the agenda for much of the century (=people paid attention to the subjects he dealt with) .6.) ¦(START SOMETHING HAPPENING)¦ [T]to make something start happening or to make someone start doing somethingset sth in motion/progress/train▪ A study by military experts was immediately set in motion.▪ The chief executive will set in train the process of finding a successor.set sth on fire/alight/ablaze also set fire to sth(=make something start burning)▪ Protestors set fire to two buses.set sb/sth doing sth▪ Her last remark has set me thinking.▪ The wind set the trees rustling.7.) ¦(DECIDE SOMETHING)¦ [T]to decide and state when something will happen, how much something should cost, what should be done etcset a date/time (for sth)▪ The government has still not set a date for the election.▪ International companies set the price of oil.set standards/limits/guidelines etc▪ high standards of hygiene set by the Department of Health8.) ¦(START WORKING)¦ [I and T]to start doing something in a determined way, or to tell someone to start doing somethingset to work to do sth▪ They set to work to paint the outside of the building.set (sb) to work on sth▪ He's about to set to work on a second book.set (sb) to work doing sth▪ The boys were set to work collecting firewood.set sb to do sth▪ Rocard set himself to reform public sector industry.9.) ¦(MACHINE/CLOCK ETC)¦ [T]to move a switch on a machine, clock etc so that it will start or stop working at the time you want, or in the way you want▪ Did you set the alarm ?▪ Remember to set the video to record the film.set sth to/at/on sth▪ Usually the heating is set on 'low'.10.)¦(LIQUID/GLUE/CEMENT ETC)¦to become hard and solid▪ How long does it take for the glue to set?11.) ¦(SUN)¦ [I]when the sun sets, it moves down in the sky and disappears≠ ↑rise12.) set (sb) a goal [i]also set sb a task/challenge BrEto say what you or someone else will or must try to achieve▪ It's best to set realistic goals that you can achieve.▪ He set himself the task of learning Japanese.13.) set your heart/mind/sights on (doing) sthto want very much to have or achieve something, or to be determined to do something▪ Ellen has completely set her heart on that house.▪ He set his sights on crossing the Pacific by balloon.14.) set a recordto achieve the best result in a sport, competition etc that has ever been achieved, by running fastest, jumping highest etc▪ The Kenyan runner set a new Olympic Record in the 3000 metres.15.) set the tableto arrange plates, knives, cups etc on a table so that it is ready for a mealBritish Equivalent: lay the table16.) set a trapa) to make a trap ready to catch an animalb) to invent a plan to try and catch someone who is doing something wrong▪ They decided to set a trap for him by leaving him in charge.17.) set sb free/looseto allow a person or an animal to be free▪ All the other hostages were finally set free.18.) set sb straight/rightto tell someone the right way to do something or the true facts about somethingset somebody straight/right on▪ I set him right on a few points of procedure.19.) ¦(FACE)¦[i]written if your face or mouth sets into a particular expression, you start to have an angry, sad, unfriendly etc expressionset into▪ His mouth set into a rather grim line.20.) set your jawto move your lower jaw forward in a way that shows your determination21.) ¦(BONE)¦a) [T]if a doctor sets a broken bone, he or she moves it into position so that the bone can grow together againb)if a broken bone sets, it joins together again22.) ¦(CLASS WORK)¦ [T][i]BrE to give a student in your class a piece of work to doset sb sth▪ Mr Biggs has set us a 2000-word essay.23.) ¦(EXAMINATION)¦ [T]BrE to write the questions for an examination▪ The head teacher sets the questions for the English exam.24.) ¦(PRINTING)¦ [T]to arrange the words and letters of a book, newspaper etc so it is ready to be printed▪ In those days books had to be set by hand.25.) ¦(HAIR)¦ [T]to arrange someone's hair while it is wet so that it has a particular style when it dries→set sb at (their) ease at ↑ease1 (2)→set your face against sth at ↑face1 (21)→set sth to music at ↑music→set the pace at ↑pace1 (7)→set pen to paper at ↑pen1 (3)→set sail at ↑sail2 (2)→set the scene at ↑scene→set the stage for sth at ↑stage1 (7)→set great store by/on sth at ↑store1 (6)→set the world on fire/alight at ↑world1 (22)→set the world to rights at ↑world1 (23)set about / [set about sth/sb] phr v1.) to start doing or dealing with something, especially something that needs a lot of time and effort▪ A team of volunteers set about the task with determination.set about doing sth▪ How do senior managers set about making these decisions?2.) literary to attack someone by hitting and kicking them▪ They set about him with their fists.set against / [set sb/sth against sb/sth] phr v1.) to make someone start to fight or quarrel with another person, especially a person who they had friendly relations with before▪ The bitter civil war set brother against brother.2.) set yourself against (doing) sthto decide that you are opposed to doing or having something▪ She's set herself against going to university.3.) set sth against taxto officially record the money you have spent on something connected with your job, in order to reduce the amount of tax you have to payset apart [set sb/sth apart] phr v1.) if a quality sets someone or something apart, it makes them different from or better than other people or thingsset somebody/something apart from▪ Man's ability to reason sets him apart from other animals.2.) [usually passive]to keep something, especially a particular time, for a special purposeset somebody/something apart for▪ Traditionally these days were set apart for prayer and fasting.set aside [set sth<=>aside] phr v1.) to keep something, especially money, time, or a particular area, for a special purposeset something<=>aside for▪ Try to set aside some time each day for exercise.▪ a room that had been set aside for visitors2.) to decide not to consider a particular feeling or thing because something else is more important▪ Both sides agreed to set aside the question of independence.3.) to officially state that a previous legal decision or agreement no longer has any effect▪ The judge set aside the verdict of the lower court.4.) if a farmer sets aside land, he or she agrees not to grow any crops on it, and accepts a payment from the government for thisset back [set sb/sth back] phr v1.) set sb/sth<=>backto delay the progress or development of something, or delay someone from finishing something▪ Environmental experts said the move would set back further research.▪ Illness had set me back a couple of weeks.2.) informal to cost someone a lot of moneyset sb back $50/£100 etc▪ This jacket set me back over £1000.set down [set sth/sb<=>down] phr v1.) to write about something so that you have a record of it▪ I wanted to set my feelings down on paper.2.) to state how something should be done in an official document or set of rules▪ Clear guidelines have been set down for teachers.3.) BrE to stop a car, bus etc and allow someone to get out▪ The driver set her down at the station.set forth phr v1.) set sth<=>forthformal to explain ideas, facts, or opinions in a clearly organized way in writing or in a speech= ↑set out▪ He set forth an idealistic view of society.2.) literary to begin a journey▪ They were about to set forth on a voyage into the unknown.set in phr vif something sets in, especially something unpleasant, it begins and seems likely to continue for a long time▪ Winter seems to be setting in early this year.▪ Further economic decline set in during the 1930s.set off phr v1.) to start to go somewhere▪ I'll set off early to avoid the traffic.set off for▪ Jerry and I set off on foot for the beach.2.) set sth<=>offto make something start happening, especially when you do not intend to do so▪ News that the claims might be true set off widespread panic.▪ Hong Kong's stock market fell, setting off a global financial crisis.3.) set sth<=>offto make an ↑alarm start ringing▪ Smoke from a cigarette will not normally set off a smoke alarm.4.) set sth<=>offto make a bomb explode, or cause an explosion▪ Any movement could have set off the bomb.5.) set sth<=>offif a piece of clothing, colour, decoration etc sets something off, it makes it look attractive▪ The blue sundress set off her long blonde hair.6.) set sb offto make someone start laughing, crying, or talking about something▪ Don't mention what happened - you'll only set her off again.7.) set sth off against taxto officially record the money you have spent on something connected with your job, in order to reduce the amount of tax you have to pay▪ Some expenses can be set off against tax.set on [set on sb] phr v1.) set sb on sbto make people or animals attack someone▪ The farmer threatened to set his dogs on us.2.) [usually passive]if you are set on by people or animals, you are suddenly attacked by them▪ A thirty-five-year-old man was set on by four youths last night.3.) set sb on/onto sbto give someone information about a person who you think has done something wrong, because you want that person to be found and caught▪ If I refuse, he'll set the police onto me.set out phr v1.) to start a journey, especially a long journeyset out for▪ Kate set out for the house on the other side of the bay.set out on a journey/drive/voyage etc▪ The band are setting out on a European tour in March.2.) to start doing something or making plans to do something in order to achieve a particular resultset out to do sth▪ salesmen who deliberately set out to defraud customersset out with the idea/purpose/intention etc of doing sth▪ They set out with the aim of becoming the number one team in the league.3.) set sth<=>outto explain ideas, facts, or opinions in a clearly organized way, in writing or in a speech▪ He set out the reasons for his decision in his report.4.) set sth<=>outto put a group of things down and arrange them▪ The market traders began setting out their displays.5.) set out on sthto start doing something, especially something new, difficult, or important▪ My nephew is just setting out on a career in journalism.▪ The government set out on a programme of economic reform.set to phr vto start doing something eagerly and with determination▪ If we all set to, we'll finish the job in half an hour.set up phr v1.) ¦(COMPANY/ORGANIZATION ETC)¦to start a company, organization, committee etc= ↑establish set sth<=>up▪ They want to set up their own import-export business.▪ new regulations for setting up political partiesset (yourself) up (as sth)(=start your own business)▪ John decided to set up as a graphic designer.set up shop/set up in business(=begin operating a business)▪ Now Betterware plans to set up shop elsewhere in Europe.2.) ¦(ARRANGE/ORGANIZE)¦set sth<=>upto make the arrangements that are necessary for something to happen▪ I'll set up an appointment for you.▪ There was a lot of work involved in setting up the festival.3.) ¦(EQUIPMENT)¦to prepare the equipment that will be needed for an activity so that it is ready to be used▪ The next band was already setting up on the other stage.set sth<=>up▪ Can someone set the overhead projector up?4.) ¦(BUILD/PUT UP)¦set sth<=>upto place or build something somewhere, especially something that is not permanent▪ They've set up road blocks around the city.5.) ¦(TRICK SOMEBODY)¦set sb<=>up informalto trick someone in order to achieve what you want, especially to make it appear that they have done something wrong or illegal▪ Cox claimed that the police had tried to set him up.6.) ¦(PROVIDE MONEY)¦set sb<=>upBrE informal to provide someone with money that they need, especially in order to start a business▪ After he qualified as a doctor, his mother set him up in a practice of his own.▪ Selling her share of the company has set her up for life .7.) ¦(HEALTHY/FULL OF ENERGY)¦set sb upBrE to make you feel healthy and full of energy▪ A good breakfast will set you up for the day .8.) set yourself up as sthto deliberately make people believe that you have the authority and skill to do something, especially when this is not true▪ politicians who set themselves up as moral authorities9.) ¦(PUT SOMEBODY IN POSITION)¦set sb upto put someone in a position in which they are able to do something, or in which something is likely to happen to themset somebody up for▪ If he won the fight, it would set him up for a title shot.▪ Anyone with public duties sets themselves up for attack.10.)¦(RELATIONSHIP)¦set sb<=>up informalto arrange for two people to meet, because you think they might start a romantic relationship▪ 'How did you meet Nick?' 'A friend set us up.'11.) set up home/house also set up housekeepingAmE to get your own home, furniture etc, especially when you leave your parents' home to live with a wife, husband, or partner▪ Many parents try to help their children set up home.12.) set up a commotion/din/racket etcto start making a loud, unpleasant noise▪ The party guests were setting up a steady din.→set up camp at ↑camp1 (1)set 2set2 W1S1 n▬▬▬▬▬▬▬1¦(group of things)¦2¦(television/radio)¦3¦(film)¦4¦(theatre/film stage)¦5¦(sport)¦6¦(people)¦7 the set of somebody's face/jaw/shoulders etc8¦(music)¦9¦(maths)¦10¦(students)¦11¦(onion)¦▬▬▬▬▬▬▬[Sense: 1-2, 5-6, 8-10; Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: sette, from Latin secta; SECT][Sense: 3-4, 7, 11; Date: 1300-1400; Origin: SET1]1.) ¦(GROUP OF THINGS)¦a group of similar things that belong together or are related in some wayset of▪ a set of tools▪ We face a new set of problems.▪ The older generation have a different set of values.▪ a chess set2.) ¦(TELEVISION/RADIO)¦a television, or a piece of equipment for receiving radio signals▪ a colour television set3.) ¦(FILM)¦a place where a film or television programme is filmedon set/on the set▪ Cruise met Kidman on the set of 'Days of Thunder'.4.) ¦(THEATRE/FILM STAGE)¦the scenery, furniture etc used on a stage in a play or in the place where a film or television show is being made5.) ¦(SPORT)¦one part of a game such as tennis or ↑volleyball▪ Sampras won the second set 6 - 4.6.) ¦(PEOPLE)¦ [singular]a group of people who are similar in some way and spend time together socially▪ a favourite meeting place of the smart set (=rich and fashionable people)▪ Val got in with a wild set at college.→↑jet set7.) the set of sb's face/jaw/shoulders etcthe expression on your face or the way you hold your body, which tells people how you are feelingthe set of somebody's face/jaw/shoulders etc of▪ From the set of her shoulders it was clear that Sue was exhausted.▪ the hard set of his face8.) ¦(MUSIC)¦a performance by a singer, band, or ↑disc jockey▪ Sasha performed a 3-hour set.9.) ¦(MATHS)¦ technicala group of numbers, shapes etc in ↑mathematics▪ The set (x, y) has two members.10.)¦(STUDENTS)¦ BrEa group of children who are taught a particular school subject together because they have the same level of ability in that subject= ↑streamtop/bottom etc set▪ Adam's in the top set for maths.11.) ¦(ONION)¦a small onion that you plant in order to grow bigger ones▪ onion setsset 3set3 adj▬▬▬▬▬▬▬1¦(placed)¦2¦(background)¦3¦(fixed)¦4¦(ready)¦5 set on/upon/against (doing) something6¦(opinions/habits etc)¦7 have your heart/sights set on something8 set to do something9 deep-set/wide-set/close-set eyes10 be set with gems/jewels etc11¦(meal)¦12 set book/text etc13¦(fixed expression)¦▬▬▬▬▬▬▬[Date: 1200-1300; Origin: Past participle of SET1]1.) ¦(PLACED)¦ [not before noun]being in the position that is mentionedset in/on/back etc▪ a medieval village set high on a hill▪ a big house set back from the road2.) ¦(BACKGROUND)¦used to say that something is in front of a particular background, especially in a way that is attractiveset against▪ a small town of white buildings, set against a background of hills▪ pink petals set against dark green foliage3.) ¦(FIXED)¦ [only before noun]a set amount, time etc is fixed and is never changed▪ We were paid a set amount each week.▪ The evening meal is served at a set time.▪ Small children like a set routine.4.) ¦(READY)¦ [not before noun] informalsomeone who is set for something is ready for itset for▪ Are you all set for the trip?set to do sth▪ I was just set to go when the phone rang.▪ Get set (=get ready) for a night of excitement.▪ On your marks - get set - go (=said to start a race) .5.) set on/upon/against (doing) sthdetermined about something▪ Nina's set on going to the party.▪ The government's dead set (=completely determined) against the plan.6.) ¦(OPINIONS/HABITS ETC)¦not likely to change▪ People had very set ideas about how to bring up children.▪ Mark was 65 and rather set in his ways (=habits) .7.) have your heart/sights set on sthto want to do something very much, or to be aiming to do something▪ She's got her heart set on going to France this summer.▪ Don has his sights set on a career in law.8.) set to do sthlikely to do something▪ The weather is set to change.▪ This issue is set to cause some embarrassment.9.) deep-set/wide-set/close-set eyeseyes whose position is deep in the face, far apart on the face, or close together on the face10.) be set with gems/jewels etcto be decorated with jewels▪ a gold bracelet set with rubies11.) ¦(MEAL)¦ [only before noun]BrE a set meal in a restaurant has a fixed price and a more limited choice than usualset lunch/dinner/menu▪ The hotel does a very good set menu.12.) set book/text etcBrE a book that must be studied for an examination13.) ¦(FIXED EXPRESSION)¦literary if your face is set, it has a fixed expression on it, especially one that is angry, worried etc▪ He stared at her, his face set, his eyes hard and glittering.▪ Kate's face was set in a grim expression.set smile/teeth/jaw▪ 'Damn you,' he said through set teeth.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.