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English definition of “set”

set

verb  /set/ us  

set verb (PUT)

[T always + adv/prep] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) to put something in a particular place or position: Set the box on its end. Our house is set back from the road. [T always + adv/prep] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) If you set something down, you put it on a surface: [M] She set down her teacup and leaned forward. [T always + adv/prep] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) If you set a story in a particular place or time, the events happen then or there: Banks’s novel is set in the years before the Civil War.

set verb (CAUSE A CONDITION)

(present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) to cause someone or something to be in a particular condition, or to begin doing something: [T] He carelessly dropped a match and set the grass on fire. [T] His remarks set me thinking. [L] The wildness in her paintings is what sets them apart. [+ to infinitive] With the deadline only a few weeks away, I set to work right away.

set verb (ARRANGE)

[T] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) to arrange or adjust something so it is ready to work or be used: I’ve set the clock to daylight savings time. To get rid of mice, set a trap – or get a cat. My job is to set the table before dinner (= arrange the plates, utensils, etc.).

set verb (ESTABLISH)

[T] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) to establish a pattern or example to follow: Parents should try to set a good example. The governor wants to set spending limits. She set a new world record at the Wannamaker Games.

set verb (BECOME FIXED)

[I/T] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) to cause something to become fixed or firm: [T] Have they set a date for the wedding yet? [I] Glue that sets quickly makes it easier to repair things. [T] The old man’s face was set in a continual scowl. [I/T] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) If you have your hair set, you have it arranged while it is wet so that it will stay in a particular style when it is dry. [I/T] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) If a stone is set, it is fixed in a piece of jewelry: [T] The blue stone was set in a gold ring. [I/T] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) When a broken bone is set, it is kept in a fixed position so that it can heal.

set verb (MOVE DOWN)

[I] (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) (esp. of the sun or moon) to sink in the sky until it cannot be seen: The sun sets with a great show of color.

set

noun  /set/ us  

set noun (PLAY BACKGROUND)

[C] something built or put together to represent a place where the action happens in a play or movie: The set looks just like a real subway car.

set noun (GROUP)

[C] a group of things that belong together or are used together: a chess set a number set She has a strange set of symptoms. [C] A set is also a group of people who have similar interests and spend time together: the golf-playing set [C] In tennis, a set is a group of games between the same competitors: The match was over quickly, four sets to two.

set noun (TELEVISION)

[C] a television: I walked in the room and turned off the set.

set noun (POSITION)

[C/U] a position or an arrangement, esp. of the hair or body: [U] I could tell from the set of his jaw that he was angry. [C] Could you give my hair a set like the one in the picture in this magazine?

set

adjective [not gradable]  /set/ us  

set adjective [not gradable] (READY)

with everything arranged; ready: [+ to infinitive] Katy is set to go to college in September. Is everything all set for the party?

set adjective [not gradable] (FIXED)

fixed or firm: There wasn’t a set time for us to get there. If you are set on something, you have firmly decided about it: HMOs are good if you aren’t set on one specific doctor.
(Definition of set from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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