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[set-too] /ˈsɛtˌtu/
noun, plural set-tos.
a usually brief, sharp fight or argument.
Origin of set-to
First recorded in 1735-45; noun use of verb phrase set to Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for set-to
Historical Examples
  • Went to the chapel last night, I understand, and he and dad had a set-to.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Cut in Miss Hawtry at the second set-to of Harriet and aunt.

    Blue-grass and Broadway Maria Thompson Daviess
  • But that was all like playing skretch-cradle to our set-to last night in the dark.

    Fix Bay'nets George Manville Fenn
  • But there can be no question about the outcome of such a set-to.

  • The set-to you had about the Indians' right to hunt pleased us both.

    The Eagle's Heart Hamlin Garland
  • And next day we had a set-to with the gloves, and his verdict was 'Only just short of professional.'

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • By then the others were near enough to take part in the set-to.

    Motor Matt's Hard Luck Stanley R. Matthews
  • He was a sailor once more, and had a deuce of a set-to with some Lascars.

    Seven Frozen Sailors George Manville Fenn
  • We had our first set-to this morning, in which he winged me, but I got the best of him.

    The Delafield Affair

    Florence Finch Kelly
  • The big man, to the best of our knowledge, had a determined "set-to" once, and only once.

    Wrestling and Wrestlers: Jacob Robinson
Word Origin and History for set-to

"bout, fight," 1743, originally pugilistic slang, from verbal phrase; see set (v.) + to.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for set-to



A contention; fight; bout: Another venomous set-to among the politicians (1743+ Boxing)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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