[suhm-er-set, -sit]


a city in SE Massachusetts.
a town in S Kentucky.


or som·er·set sum·mer·sault, sum·mer·set



an acrobatic movement, either forward or backward, in which the body rolls end over end, making a complete revolution.
such a movement performed in the air as part of a dive, tumbling routine, etc.
a complete overturn or reversal, as of opinion.

verb (used without object)

to perform a somersault.

Origin of somersault

1520–30; < Middle French sombresaut, alteration of sobresault; compare Old Provençal sobre over (< Latin super), saut a leap (< Latin saltus) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for somerset

Contemporary Examples of somerset

Historical Examples of somerset

  • Somerset had been brought to England by his master, and left there.


    Samuel Smiles

  • The ceremony was performed at Dunyatt, in the county of Somerset.

  • Mr. Somerset had been teasing Poppy in the meantime, and laughing with the others.

    The Carroll Girls

    Mabel Quiller-Couch

  • Lay from Somerset to Singapore direct, keeping highest levels.

    With The Night Mail

    Rudyard Kipling

  • "With the Devon and Somerset," replied Drake, with partial truth.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice

British Dictionary definitions for somerset




a county of SW England, on the Bristol Channel: the Mendip Hills lie in the north and Exmoor in the west: the geographical and ceremonial county includes the unitary authorities of North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset (both part of Avon county from 1975 until 1996): mainly agricultural (esp dairying and fruit). Administrative centre: Taunton. Pop (excluding unitary authorities): 507 500 (2003 est). Area (excluding unitary authorities): 3452 sq km (1332 sq miles)




1st Duke of, title of Edward Seymour . ?1500–52, English statesman, protector of England (1547–49) during Edward VI's minority. He defeated the Scots (1547) and furthered the Protestant Reformation: executed




  1. a forward roll in which the head is placed on the ground and the trunk and legs are turned over it
  2. a similar roll in a backward direction
an acrobatic feat in which either of these rolls are performed in midair, as in diving or gymnastics
a complete reversal of opinion, policy, etc


(intr) to perform a somersault

Word Origin for somersault

C16: from Old French soubresault, probably from Old Provençal sobresaut, from sobre over (from Latin super) + saut a jump, leap (from Latin saltus)
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 somerset


9c., Sumor sæton, from Old English sumorsæta, short for *sumorton sæte "the people who live at (or depend upon) Somerton," a settlement attested from 8c. (Sumertone), literally "summer settlement." In 12c. it begins to be clearly meant as a place-name (Sumersetescir) not a collective name for a set of people.



1520s, from Middle French sombresault, from Old Provençal sobresaut, from sobre "over" (from Latin supra "over;" see supra-) + saut "a jump," from Latin saltus, from the root of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Sometimes further corrupted to somerset, etc.



1850, from somersault (n.). Related: Somersaulted; somersaulting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper