I UK [set] / US verb
Word forms "set":
present tense I/you/we/they set he/she/it sets present participle setting past tense set past participle set
1) [transitive] to put someone or something in a position
set someone/something in/into/on/down/back etc:

"Tea's ready," he told them and set down the tray.

She set the baby on the floor to play.

a) [transitive, usually passive] if something is set somewhere, it is in that place or position

It's a traditional country house hotel, set in its own parklands.

The bookcase was set into the wall.

Our house is set back from the road.

b) to put someone or something in a particular state

The suspect has been accused of setting the restaurant on fire.

set someone/something loose:

Don't set the dog loose.

set someone/something free:

The hostages have been set free after 34 days in captivity.

2) [transitive] to make something happen, or to make someone do something
set someone/something doing something:

His mysterious phone calls were bound to set them wondering.

set something in motion:

That single photograph set his career as a photographer in motion.

a) [transitive] to make a piece of equipment ready to operate

The bomb was set to go off at eight o'clock.

You can set it so that it does an automatic data backup at the end of each day.

b) to change the time on a clock or the controls on a piece of equipment

Can you help me set the VCR?

set something at something:

Set the thermostat at 68 degrees.

set something for something:

I'm setting the alarm for 6.30.

a) [transitive] to decide when or where an event will happen
set a date/time (for something):

Have they set a date for the wedding?

b) to decide the price or value of something

They set the price of the house too high.

The central bank is responsible for setting interest rates.

Parents shouldn't set too high a value on good exam results.

Bail was set at £50,000.

5) [transitive] to establish a rule, standard, limit etc that people must follow

The agreement sets clear targets and timetables for the reduction of carbon emissions.

set rules/conditions/guidelines/limits/criteria (for something):

Opposition parties have set conditions for peace negotiations to begin.

set standards:

Their teacher sets high standards and expects everyone to meet them.

6) [transitive] to do something that influences the way that other things are done or the way that other people behave
set a tone/pattern/fashion/trend (for something):

Her opening remarks set the tone for the whole conference.

It was one of the shows that set the trend for "reality television".

7) [transitive] to give something to someone to do or to achieve
set someone a goal/challenge/objective/task:

You'll never get anywhere if you don't set yourself any goals.

set someone to do something:

I've set myself to find a new job by Christmas.

a) British to give students work to do as part of a course of study
set someone something:

I'm going to set you all an essay for the weekend.

b) British to produce questions or an examination paper for students to answer

They set us an absolutely impossible paper.

8) [transitive, usually passive] to write or produce a play, book, film etc that happens in a particular time or place

The film is set in 18th-century New England.

9) [intransitive] when the sun sets, it goes below the horizon at the end of the day
a) [transitive] to put the two ends of a broken bone back into the correct position so that they can grow into one piece again

The doctor set my arm and put a cast on it.

b) [intransitive] if a broken bone sets, the two ends of it grow into one piece again
11) [intransitive/transitive] if a liquid sets, or if you set it, it forms a solid substance

a type of concrete that sets in 15 minutes

12) [intransitive/transitive] if your face or a part of it sets into a particular expression, or if you set it into a particular expression, you have that expression on your face

His face set into a determined expression as he read the letter.

13) [transitive] to arrange wet hair in a particular style so that it keeps that style when it becomes dry
14) [transitive] to arrange letters and words on a special machine into the correct order so that you can print something
15) [transitive, usually passive] to put a jewel or stone in a piece of jewellery

a necklace set with rubies

Phrasal verbs:
II UK [set] / US noun
Word forms "set":
singular set plural sets
1) [countable] a group of things of the same type that belong together
set of:

a set of keys

a complete set of Pokemon cards

a) a group of different objects that are used together for a particular purpose

a chess set

set of:

a set of tools

b) a number of ideas, rules, facts, or principles that form a group
set of:

The papers printed a fresh set of allegations against the ex-President.

a set of guidelines/rules/instructions:

The tax department provides a set of guidelines for new business start-ups.

c) a particular number of times that an exercise or a group of exercises is repeated

Do three sets of the exercises I gave you last week.

d) music a series of songs that a band or singer plays or sings in a performance

The band is taking a 15 minute break between sets.

a) [countable] a group of people who spend time together or who share an interest

your social set

New York's literary set

set of:

He's made a completely new set of friends at university.

b) British a group of students in a school who have a particular level of ability in a subject

Jane's in the top set for English.

3) [countable] a piece of equipment that receives television or radio signals

a TV set

a) [countable] theatre, cinema a stage or other place where a film or television programme is made or where a play is performed
b) the scenery and furniture used in a film, play, or television programme to make the stage look like a particular place
5) [countable] in tennis and some other sports, a part of a match consisting of at least six games

Sampras took the first set 6–2.

6) [singular] the position in which someone stands or sits or holds part of their body

the determined set of her jaw

7) [singular] the process of arranging wet hair in a particular style so that it keeps that style when it becomes dry
a shampoo and set:

She has a shampoo and set every week.

8) [countable] maths a group of numbers in mathematics
9) [singular] the condition of becoming firm or solid
10) [countable] a young plant, or a part of a plant used for producing new plants
11) [countable] a sett where a badger lives

III UK [set] / US adjective *
1) [usually before noun] already decided or agreed

There's no set time limit for the job.

He charges a set fee for his services.

a) not willing to change your opinion or way of doing things
be set in your ways:

He's old and stubborn and set in his ways.

b) used about people's ideas or behaviour

She has very set ideas about how to raise children.

3) [only before noun] a set smile or expression does not change, and often hides what someone is really thinking

Iris stared in front of her with a set expression, making no response.

4) [never before noun] ready to do something
get set:

On your marks, get set, go!

set for:

The top contenders are set for the showdown at next week's championship.

be all set (for something):

Are you all set for the party tonight?

be all set to do something:

I was all set to do it myself when he finally showed up.

5) [never before noun] likely to do something
set for:

The museum is set for a major expansion.

be set to do something:

Car repair costs are set to rise under EU proposals.

look set to do something:

Rosenthal looks set to miss the match because of injury.

6) [only before noun] a set book or text contains information that students must study before an examination
7) [only before noun] a set meal in a restaurant or hotel offers a limited choice of different foods for a fixed price

Dinner is a set menu of three courses.

(dead) set against something — completely opposed to something

We are absolutely set against the tax increase.

(dead) set against doing something:

She's dead set against giving the kids junk food.

set on/upon (doing) something — determined to do or to have something

So you're definitely set on a career in medicine?

English dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • set — [set] vt. set, setting [ME setten < OE settan (akin to Ger setzen & Goth satjan < Gmc * satjan), caus. formation “to cause to sit” < base of SIT] 1. to place in a sitting position; cause to sit; seat 2. a) to cause (a fowl) to sit on… …   English World dictionary

  • set*/*/*/ — [set] (past tense and past participle set) verb I 1) [T] to put someone or something in a position, or to be in a particular place or position Tea s ready, he told them and set down the tray.[/ex] She set the baby on the floor to play.[/ex] 2)… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

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  • Set — has 464 separate definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary, the most of any English word; its full definition comprises 10,000 words making it the longest definition in the OED. Set may refer to:In mathematics and science:*Set (mathematics), a …   Wikipedia

  • Set! — jeu de société Trouverez vous les 4 sets ? (solution en bas de page) {{{licence}}} Auteur Marsha Falco Éditeur …   Wikipédia en Français

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