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English definition of “settle”

settle

verb uk   /ˈset.l̩/ us    /ˈset̬-/

settle verb (AGREE)

B2 [T] to reach a decision or an agreement about something, or to end a disagreement: Good, that's all settled - you send out the invitations for the party, and I'll organize the food. [+ question word] They haven't yet settled when the wedding is going to be. "The tickets are £40 each." "Well, that settles that then - I can't afford that much." I'd like to get this matter settled once and for all (= reach a final decision on it). B2 [I or T] to arrange something: The details of the contract have not yet been settled. Our lawyer advised us that it would be better to settle out of court (= reach an agreement in a legal case without it being decided in a court of law). It took months to settle (= bring to an end) the dispute/strike. My father and I have agreed finally to settle our differences (= stop arguing).

settle verb (MAKE COMFORTABLE)

[I or T, usually + adv/prep] to relax into a comfortable position: After dinner we settled in front of the television for the evening. The dentist told her patient to settle back in the chair. He settled himself down with a newspaper, and waited for the train to arrive.

settle verb (LIVE)

B2 [I usually + adv/prep] to go and live somewhere, especially permanently: After they got married, they settled in Brighton. [I or T, often passive] to arrive, especially from another country, in a new place and start to live there and use the land: America was first settled by people who came across from Asia over 25,000 years ago.

settle verb (MOVE LOWER)

C1 [I] to move to a lower level and stay there; to drop: The house had been empty for years, and dust had settled on all the surfaces. Do you think the snow will settle (= remain on the ground and other surfaces without melting)? The contents of this packet may settle (= fall towards the bottom of the container and so seem to be less).

settle verb (PAY)

C2 [I or T] to pay, especially money that you owe: Please settle your account/bill without further delay. It took the insurance company months to settle my claim.formal Payment of your account is now overdue, and we must ask you to settle (= pay the money you owe) immediately.

settle verb (QUIET)

[I or T] to become quiet and calm, or to make something or someone do this: The weather is expected to settle towards the end of the week. I'll call you back as soon as I've settled the children for the night. Before a performance, she takes three deep breaths to settle her nerves. We're very busy this week, but things should settle (down) a bit after the weekend.UK Joe's parents are very worried about him because he doesn't seem to be able to settle to (= to give his whole attention to) anything.

settle verb (BE IN A CERTAIN STATE)

[I + adv/prep] to reach and remain at a certain level or in a certain state: The pound rose slightly against the dollar today, then settled at $1.53. A peaceful expression settled on her face. After the recent riots, an uneasy calm has settled on the city.
(Definition of settle from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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