verb (used with object), set·tled, set·tling.

verb (used without object), set·tled, set·tling.

Verb Phrases

Origin of settle

before 1000; Middle English set(t)len, Old English setlan (attested once) to place, derivative of setl settle2; compare Dutch zetelen
Related formsset·tle·a·ble, adjectiveset·tle·a·bil·i·ty, nounset·tled·ness, nounqua·si-set·tled, adjectiveun·set·tle·a·ble, adjectivewell-set·tled, adjective

Synonyms for settle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for settle for

settle for


(intr, preposition) to accept or agree to in spite of dispute or dissatisfaction




(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 Formssettleable, adjective

Word Origin for settle

Old English setlan; related to Dutch zetelen; see settle ²




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

Word Origin and History for settle for



"come to rest," Old English setlan "cause to sit, place, put," from setl "a seat" (see settle (n.)). Related: Settling. Cf. German siedeln "to settle, colonize."

From c.1300 of birds, etc., "to alight." From early 14c. as "sink down, descend; cave in." Early 15c. in reference to suspended particles in a liquid. Sense of "establish a permanent residence" first recorded 1620s; that of "decide" is 1620s. Meaning "secure title to by deed" is from 1660s.

Meaning "reconcile" (a quarrel, differences, etc.) perhaps is influenced by Middle English sahtlen "to reconcile," from Old English saht "reconciliation," from Old Norse satt "reconciliation." To settle down "become content" is from 1853; transitive sense from 1520s; as what married couples do in establishing domesticity, from 1718. To settle for "content oneself with" is from 1943.



"long bench," 1550s, from Middle English setle "a seat," from Old English setl "a seat, stall; position, abode; setting of a heavenly body," related to sittan "to sit," from Proto-Germanic *setla- (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch setel, Dutch zetel, German Sessel, Gothic sitls), from PIE *sedla- (cf. Latin sella "seat, chair," Old Church Slavonic sedlo "saddle," Old English sadol "saddle"), from root *sed- (1) "to sit" (see sedentary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with settle for

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.