[ set-l ]
/ ˈsɛt l /
verb (used with object), set·tled, set·tling.
to appoint, fix, or resolve definitely and conclusively; agree upon (as time, price, or conditions).
to place in a desired state or in order: to settle one's affairs.
to pay, as a bill.
to close (an account) by payment.
to migrate to and organize (an area, territory, etc.); colonize: The pilgrims settled Plymouth.
to cause to take up residence: They settled immigrants in urban areas.
to furnish (a place) with inhabitants or settlers: The French settled this colony with army veterans.
to quiet, calm, or bring to rest (the nerves, stomach, etc.).
to stop from annoying or opposing: A sharp word will settle that youngster.
to conclude or resolve: to settle a dispute.
to make stable; place in a permanent position or on a permanent basis.
to cause (a liquid) to become clear by depositing dregs.
to cause (dregs, sediment, etc.) to sink or be deposited.
to cause to sink down gradually; make firm or compact.
to dispose of finally; close up: to settle an estate.
- to secure (property, title, etc.) on or to a person by formal or legal process.
- to terminate (legal proceedings) by mutual consent of the parties.
verb (used without object), set·tled, set·tling.
to decide, arrange, or agree (often followed by on or upon): to settle on a plan of action.
to arrange matters in dispute; come to an agreement: to settle with a person.
to pay a bill; make a financial arrangement (often followed by up).
to take up residence in a new country or place: Many Frenchmen settled along the Mississippi River following La Salle's explorations.
to come to rest, as from flight: A bird settled on a bough.
to gather, collect, or become fixed in a particular place, direction, etc.: A cold settled in my head.
to become calm or composed (often followed by down): I'll wait until the class settles before starting the lesson.
to come to rest (often followed by down): We settled down for the night at an old country inn.
to sink down gradually; subside.
to become clear by the sinking of suspended particles, as a liquid.
to sink to the bottom, as sediment.
to become firm or compact, as the ground.
(of a female animal) to become pregnant; conceive.
- to become established in some routine, especially upon marrying, after a period of independence or indecision.
- to become calm or quiet.
- to apply oneself to serious work: There were so many distractions that we weren't able to settle down to studying.
settle for, to be satisfied with: to settle for less.
settle into, to become established in: to settle into a new routine.
Words nearby settle
Origin of settle1
before 1000; Middle English set(t)len, Old English setlan (attested once) to place, derivative of setl settle2; compare Dutch zetelen
OTHER WORDS FROM settle
set·tle·a·ble, adjectiveset·tle·a·bil·i·ty, nounset·tled·ness, nounqua·si-set·tled, adjective
un·set·tle·a·ble, adjectivewell-set·tled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for settle for (1 of 3)
(intr, preposition) to accept or agree to in spite of dispute or dissatisfaction
British Dictionary definitions for settle for (2 of 3)
/ (ˈsɛtəl) /
(tr) to put in order; arrange in a desired state or conditionhe settled his affairs before he died
to arrange or be arranged in a fixed or comfortable positionhe settled himself by the fire
(intr) to come to rest or a halta bird settled on the hedge
to take up or cause to take up residencethe family settled in the country
to establish or become established in a way of life, job, residence, etc
(tr) to migrate to and form a community; colonize
to make or become quiet, calm, or stable
(intr) to be cast or spread; come downfog settled over a wide area
to make (a liquid) clear or (of a liquid) to become clear; clarify
to cause (sediment) to sink to the bottom, as in a liquid, or (of sediment) to sink thus
to subside or cause to subside and become firm or compactthe dust settled
(sometimes foll by up) to pay off or account for (a bill, debt, etc)
(tr) to decide, conclude, or dispose ofto settle an argument
(intr; often foll by on or upon) to agree or fixto settle upon a plan
(tr; usually foll by on or upon) to secure (title, property, etc) to a person, as by making a deed of settlement, will, etche settled his property on his wife
to determine (a legal dispute, etc) by agreement of the parties without resort to court action (esp in the phrase settle out of court)
Derived forms of settlesettleable, adjective
Word Origin for settle
Old English setlan; related to Dutch zetelen; see settle ²
British Dictionary definitions for settle for (3 of 3)
/ (ˈsɛtəl) /
a seat, for two or more people, usually made of wood with a high back and arms, and sometimes having a storage space in the boxlike seat
Word Origin for settle
Old English setl; related to Old Saxon, Old High German sezzal
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
Idioms and Phrases with settle for
Accept or be satisfied with as a compromise, as in He really wanted a bigger raise but decided to settle for what they offered. [Mid-1900s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.