[ set-too ]
See synonyms for set-to on
noun,plural set-tos.
  1. a usually brief, sharp fight or argument.

Origin of set-to

First recorded in 1735–45; noun use of verb phrase set to

Words Nearby set-to Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use set-to in a sentence

  • Now that sets up an interesting little potential set-to in 2016, no?

    Rubio and Ryan | Michael Tomasky | January 2, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • If they were to set-to to shout as soon as we had landed, our chance of getting back again would be at an end.

  • Why, I used to be once close to the kennel where they kept the foxhounds, and they used to set-to and sing sometimes all at once.

    !Tention | George Manville Fenn
  • So he came again, and they had another regular set-to, and the boy had another good sound thrashing.

    Algonquin Indian Tales | Egerton R. Young
  • So was his successful set-to in the brewery yard with Lefty Dinan, the Tenth street cock-of-the walk.

    The Incendiary | W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • She was as sure of that as she was sure that the sun would set to-night in the west and would rise again to-morrow in the east.

    The Moving Finger | Mary Gaunt

British Dictionary definitions for set to

set to

verb(intr, adverb)
  1. to begin working

  2. to start fighting

  1. informal a brief disagreement or fight

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with set-to


Apply oneself, begin, work energetically, as in We set to revamping our policy on child care, or She set to studying for the bar exam. [Early 1400s]

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