Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “set-up”


noun [C usually singular] (TRICK)    /ˈset.ʌp/ US  /ˈset̬-/ informal
a situation in which someone is tricked into doing something or is made to seem guilty of something they did not do: When drugs were found in her luggage , she claimed it was a set-up.Plotting and trappingPlanning, expecting and arrangingCheating and tricking
(Definition of set-up noun (TRICK) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of set-up

Definitions of “set-up” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a skilled and trained cook who works in a hotel or restaurant, especially the most important cook

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More