Meaning of “settle” in the English Dictionary

"settle" in British English

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uk /ˈset.əl/ us /ˈset̬.əl/

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 - 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).

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settle verb (LIVE)

B2 [ I usually + adv/prep ] to go and live somewhere, especially permanently:

After they got married, they settled in Brooklyn.

[ 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.

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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 package may settle (= fall towards the bottom of the container and so seem to be less).

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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 kids 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.

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

"settle" in American English

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us /ˈset̬·əl/

settle verb (MAKE COMFORTABLE)

[ always + adv/prep ] to get or to become comfortable:

[ T ] Campbell settled herself in front of a blazing fire.
[ I ] He settled back in his chair and took out a book.

settle verb (AGREE)

[ I/T ] to reach a decision or an agreement about something, or to end a disagreement:

[ T ] Rogers paid $2 million to settle the lawsuit.
[ I ] Negotiators are hopeful the two sides will settle.
settle out of court

If you settle out of court, you reach an agreement in a legal case without holding a trial in court:

The defendant agreed to settle out of court.

settle verb (PAY)

[ T ] to pay money owed:

He sold his photographs to settle some old debts.

settle verb (LIVE)

[ I/T ] to live in a place or to go somewhere to live, esp. permanently:

[ I ] After they got married, they settled in Virginia.
[ T ] Immigrants settled this island two hundred years ago.
[ I ] fig. An early-evening glow settles on the city (= the city has begun to glow).

settle verb (MOVE LOWER)

[ I ] to move to a lower level and stay there; drop:

Dust can settle into the wet paint and spoil the finish.
Unused farm machinery settled in high weeds behind the house.

(Definition of “settle” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"settle" in Business English

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uk /ˈsetl/ us

[ T ] to pay money that you owe:

settle a bill/debt
Only half of their clients settled their accounts on time.

[ I or T ] to end an argument by reaching an agreement to do something:

settle a dispute/argument/lawsuit
The company paid $5 million to former employees to settle claims of unfair dismissal.
Union and management were urged to settle their differences.
The company decided it was cheaper to settle rather than fight the case in court.

to make a final decision about something:

We need a final meeting to settle the matter once and for all.
OK, so that's settled then.

[ I ] FINANCE if prices, values, etc. settle, they stop moving up or down:

They expect house price inflation to settle around 10%.
settle at sth After a rocky ride, shares in the entertainment company settled at $13.
settle out of court

LAW to end an argument without having to go to a court of law, usually by agreeing to the payment of a particular amount of money:

In view of the legal costs, they decided to settle out of court.

(Definition of “settle” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)