• 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 for insets

import, ship, include, send, decorate, instill, interject, interpose, interpolate, insinuate, inlay, inject, freight, enter, carry, infix, transport, inset, intercalate, trim

Examples from the Web for insets

Historical Examples of insets

  • The insets are held by the buttons and taken from their places.

    Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook

    Maria Montessori

  • The circle is filled in with a red pencil, the square with blue (insets).

  • The insets which we present simply call the attention to a given form.

    The Montessori Method

    Maria Montessori

  • An important item of the same change is to be found in the management of the insets, or some of them.

  • He then began to turn to the cylinders and the insets, the simpler objects, and showed interest in every part of the system.

British Dictionary definitions for insets


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 insets



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