Meaning of “set sth off” in the English Dictionary

"set sth off" in British English

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set sth off

phrasal verb with set uk /set/ us /set/ verb present participle setting, past tense and past participle set

(CAUSE)

C2 to cause an activity or event, often a series of events, to begin or happen:

The court's initial verdict in the police officers' trial set off serious riots.

C2 to cause a loud noise or explosion, such as that made by a bomb or an alarm (= a warning sound) to begin or happen:

Terrorists set off a bomb in the city centre.
Somebody set the alarm off on my car.

(Definition of “set sth off” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"set sth off" in Business English

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set sth off

phrasal verb with set uk /set/ us verb setting, set, set

to cause an activity or event, often a series of events, to begin or happen:

Cheap money set off a boom in personal borrowing, especially against homes.
The proposed sale has set off an avalanche of protest.

(Definition of “set sth off” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)