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[out-set] /ˈaʊtˌsɛt/
the beginning or start:
I wanted to explain the situation at the outset.
Origin of outset
First recorded in 1530-40; out- + set Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for outset
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Historical Examples
  • But from the outset the plan was received with universal favor.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Just at the outset, the act of seeing made not the least impression on her numbed brain.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • His instinct of sympathy with which he had greeted her at the outset was repelled, and made of no avail.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Yet, at the outset, he could not be sure that she still lived.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • He was vastly astonished at the outset and not quite pleased.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
British Dictionary definitions for outset


a start; beginning (esp in the phrase from (or at) the outset)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for outset

"act of setting out on a journey, business, etc." 1759, from out + set (v.). The earlier word for this was outsetting (1670s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with outset


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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