to balance or compare: to set a person's faults against his virtues
to cause to be hostile or unfriendly to
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
How to use set against in a sentence
He was part of an extreme, racialized white faction in the Louisiana state house that was clearly dead-set against honoring King.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game | Michael Tomasky | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The core of the story is set against the backdrop of the Iraq invasion, the buildup, and the immediate aftermath.Newsweek Takedown From Beyond the Grave: Michael Hastings’s Fiction Tells the Truth | Christopher Dickey | June 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
To use a chess metaphor, it may seem like Yanukovitch is the lonely white queen set against a full set of black pawns—but beware!Ukraine’s Prime Minister Tenders Bloody Resignation | Oleg Shynkarenko | January 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
set against an otherwise pitch-black screen, she appears to be looking the audience directly in the eye.
set against the ongoing immigration debate, the court let Congress—not the states—run the show for now.Supreme Court on Gay Marriage, Voting Rights, and More | Lloyd Green | June 23, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Good is set against evil, and life against death: so also is the sinner against a just man.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
Yet it must not be inferred therefore, that he was stiffly set against all change.The English Church in the Eighteenth Century | Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton
It so befell natheless that the wind was set against them, & drave them back off Nidarholm.The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald The Tyrant (Harald Haardraade) | Snorri Sturluson
The result seems to be that we have found nothing to set against the positive arguments for the identification already urged.The Modes of Ancient Greek Music | David Binning Monro
There would be tales of the manners and morals of the idle rich, set against others of the sufferings of the poor.Love's Pilgrimage | Upton Sinclair
Other Idioms and Phrases with set against
Be or cause someone to be opposed to, as in Civil wars often set brother against brother, or The police chief's critics were set against his officers. [Late 1200s] Also see dead set against.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.