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Idioms about set

Origin of set

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb setten, Old English settan; cognate with Old Norse setja, German setzen, Gothic satjan, all from Germanic satjan, causative of setjan “to sit”; Middle English noun in senses denoting the action of setting or the state of being set, from set, set(t)e, derivative of the verb and its past participle; in senses denoting a group, from Middle English sette, from Old French, from Latin secta (in later use influenced by the verb and Middle Low German gesette “set, suite”); see sit1; sect

synonym study for set

1. See put. 70. See circle.

words often confused with set

The verbs set and sit1 are similar in form and meaning but different in grammatical use. Set is chiefly transitive and takes an object: Set the dish on the shelf. Its past tense and past participle are also set : Yesterday he set three posts for the fence. The judge has set the date for the trial. Set also has some standard intransitive uses, as “to pass below the horizon” ( The sun sets late in the northern latitudes during the summer ) and “to become firm, solid, etc.” ( This glue sets quickly ). The use of set for sit, “to be seated,” is nonstandard: Pull up a chair and set by me.
Sit is chiefly intransitive and does not take an object: Let's sit here in the shade. Its past tense and past participle are sat : They sat at the table for nearly two hours. Have they sat down yet? Transitive uses of sit include “to cause to sit” ( Pull up a chair and sit yourself down ) and “to provide seating for” ( The waiter sat us near the window ).


in·ter·set, verb (used with object), in·ter·set, in·ter·set·ting.mis·set, verb, mis·set, mis·set·ting.self-set, adjective


set , sit (see confusables note at the current entry)

Other definitions for set (2 of 2)

[ set ]
/ sɛt /

noun Egyptian Religion.
the brother and murderer of Osiris, represented as having the form of a donkey or other mammal and regarded as personifying the desert.
Also Seth [seyt] /seɪt/ .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use set in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for set (1 of 2)

/ (sɛt) /

verb sets, setting or set (mainly tr)
See also set about, set against, set aside, set back, set down, set forth, set in, set off, set on, set out, set to, set up, set upon

Word Origin for set

Old English settan, causative of sittan to sit; related to Old Frisian setta, Old High German sezzan

British Dictionary definitions for set (2 of 2)

/ (sɛt) /

verb sets, setting or set
(intr) (in square dancing and country dancing) to perform a sequence of steps while facing towards another dancerset to your partners
(usually tr) to divide into setsin this school we set our older pupils for English

Word Origin for set

C14 (in the obsolete sense: a religious sect): from Old French sette, from Latin secta sect; later sense development influenced by the verb set 1
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

Scientific definitions for set

[ sĕt ]

A collection of distinct elements that have something in common. In mathematics, sets are commonly represented by enclosing the members of a set in curly braces, as {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}, the set of all positive integers from 1 to 5.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with set


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