- Surveying. the interval by which a chain or tape exceeds the length being measured.
- setback(def 4).
Origin of set-back
special use of setback
- a check to progress; a reverse or defeat: The new law was a setback.
- Architecture. a recession of the upper part of a building from the building line, as to lighten the structure or to permit a desired amount of light and air to reach ground level at the foot of the building.
- an act or instance of setting back: A nightly setback of your home thermostats can save a great deal of fuel.
- Also set-back. a downward temperature adjustment of a thermostat, especially performed automatically, as by a timer.
Origin of setback
First recorded in 1665–75; noun use of verb phrase set back
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for setbacks
We talked about our lives—hopes and fears, loves, successes, setbacks and failures.The James Foley I Knew in the ISIS War Zone
August 20, 2014
What creeping advances the government has been able to make on some fronts are being matched by setbacks.Ukraine Rebels Boast About Troops and Tanks Coming from Russia
August 16, 2014
Sure, it wouldn't be easy; even Bassam suffers some setbacks on his quest to single-handedly liberalize Abbudin.Generic and Superficial ‘Tyrant’ Amerisplains the Middle East
June 25, 2014
Afghanistan has stumbled, not leapt, forward since 2001, but progress is often accompanied by setbacks.To See the Progress in Afghanistan, Stop Viewing the Country Through a Western Lens
February 11, 2014
As these setbacks mount, the trial narrative finds new drama as it moves toward climax.One Lawyer’s Quest to Right New Orleans’ Wrongs
November 12, 2013
But it is as safe to assume that the revolution is irreversible, setbacks aside.After the Rain
Paul Bunyan had his setbacks the same as every logger only his were worse.The Marvelous Exploits of Paul Bunyan
W. B. Laughead
Our chances were slim to begin, and we've had some setbacks.Border, Breed Nor Birth
Dallas McCord Reynolds
He'd had his setbacks, but none comparable to the recent disasters.The Lost Wagon
James Arthur Kjelgaard
There are setbacks, but then this is true in every form of nervous affection.Psychotherapy
James J. Walsh
Word Origin and History for setbacks
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper