• synonyms


[noun in-set; verb in-set]
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  1. something inserted; insert.
  2. a small picture, map, etc., inserted within the border of a larger one.
  3. influx.
  4. the act of setting in.
  5. a piece of cloth or other material set into a garment, usually as an ornamental panel.
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verb (used with object), in·set, in·set·ting.
  1. to set in or insert, as an inset: to inset a panel in a dress.
  2. to insert an inset in: to inset a mounting with jewels.
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Origin of inset

before 900; Middle English insetten to insert, Old English insettan to initiate; see in-1, set
Related formsin·set·ter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for inset

Historical Examples

  • One of the men brushed him aside and pulled at the inset handle.


    Harry Harrison

  • As well, I think, have had a portrait of Mr. Mills, with Mr. Boon inset.

  • At the other end of the arc of the inset he can read the degrees of the angle.

  • A special tool for cutting the inset is desirable but not necessary.

  • The only parallel to them is to be found in the inset story of Cupid and Psyche.

    Essays on the Greek Romances

    Elizabeth Hazelton Haight

British Dictionary definitions for inset


verb (ɪnˈsɛt) -sets, -setting or -set
  1. (tr) to set or place in or within; insert
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noun (ˈɪnˌsɛt)
  1. something inserted
  2. printing
    1. a small map or diagram set within the borders of a larger one
    2. another name for insert (def. 4)
  3. a piece of fabric inserted into a garment, as to shape it or for decoration
  4. a flowing in, as of the tide
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Derived Formsinsetter, noun
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

Word Origin and History for inset


1550s, "influx of water, place where water flows in," from in + set (n.2). Meaning "extra pages of a book, etc." is from 1875; that of "small map in the border of a larger one" is from 1881.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper