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English definition of “set”

set

verb uk   /set/ (present participle setting, past tense and past participle set) us  

set verb (POSITION)

B2 [T usually + adv/prep] to put something in a particular place or position: He set a vase of flowers on the table. The campsite is set in the middle of a pine forest. Our house is set back from the road.Placing and positioning an object B1 [T usually + adv/prep] If a story, film, etc. is set in a particular time or place, the action in it happens in that time or place: 'West Side Story' is set in New York in the late 1950s.Production, direction and recording

set verb (CONDITION)

B2 [T] to cause something or someone to be in the stated condition or situation: It is believed that the building was set alight/ablaze/on fire deliberately. The new director has set a lot of changes in motion in our department. [+ adj] After years in prison, the men who had wrongfully been found guilty of the bombing were finally set free. If I've made a mistake, then it's up to me to set it right (= correct it).Causing things to happen set sb/sth doing sth to cause someone or something to start doing something: His remarks set me thinking. The thunderstorm set the radio crackling.Causing things to happen set sb to work to give someone work to do: I was set to work tidying the bookshelves.Work, working and the workplaceWorking hours and periods of workRecruiting staff, applying for and accepting jobs

set verb (ESTABLISH)

B2 [T] to establish or decide something: The school has been criticized for failing to set high standards for its students. The government has set new limits on spending. Lewis has set a new world record. The court's decision has set a legal precedent. Parents should set a good example to their children. He's set himself the goal/target of making his first million by the time he's 30.Causing things to happen

set verb (GET READY)

B2 [T] to get something ready so that it comes into operation or can be used: [+ to infinitive] The heating is set to come on at 5 p.m. Have you set up the DVD player? I usually set my watch by the time signal on the radio. He set the alarm for 7 a.m. Will you set the table (= put plates, knives, forks, etc. on it ready for use), please?Preparing [T] to put furniture and other things on a stage so that it represents the time and the place in which the action of a play, film, or television programme is going to happen: During the interval the stage was set for the second act.Production, direction and recording

set verb (FIX)

B1 [T] to fix or make certain: Has a date/time been set for the meeting yet? The price of the house has been set at £425,000.Decisions and deciding set into sth/be set with sth If a precious stone is set in/into a piece of jewellery, or a piece of jewellery is set with a precious stone, the stone is fixed firmly to the piece of jewellery: a gold tiepin with a diamond set into it a brooch set with rubies and pearlsJewellery [T] When a doctor sets a broken bone, he or she puts it into a fixed position so that it will heal.Physiotherapy, massage and osteopathy [I] When a broken bone sets, it heals in a fixed position.Recovering from illness [T] If you have your hair set, you have it arranged while it is wet so that it will be fixed in a particular style when it is dry.Hairdressing [T] If you set a part of your body, you tighten the muscles around it in order to show that you are determined about something: "I'm never going back to him," she said, setting her jaw firmly. His face was set in determination.Preparing [I] If a liquid or soft material sets, it becomes firm or hard: Leave the jelly in the fridge to set. Don't walk on the concrete until it has set.Physical and chemical processes

set verb (GIVE WORK)

B2 [T] mainly UK (US usually assign) to give or provide a piece of work or task for someone to do: My science teacher always sets a lot of homework. What books have been set for this term? [+ two objects] We set the kids the task of clearing the snow from the front path.Giving, providing and supplying

set verb (MUSIC)

[T] to write or provide music for a poem or other words so that they can be sung: poems set to musicTechnical music terms

set verb (SUN)

B1 [I] (of the sun, moon, or planets) to go down below the horizon (= the line at which the Earth seems to join the sky): We sat on the beach and watched the sun set. The setting sun cast long shadows across the lawn.
See also
Astronomy - general words

set

noun uk   /set/ us  

set noun (GROUP)

A2 [C] a group of similar things that belong together in some way: We bought Charles and Mandy a set of cutlery as a wedding present. I always keep a tool set in the back of my car. The doctor said that he hadn't seen this particular set of symptoms before. We need to establish a new set of priorities.Groups and collections of thingsVariety and mixtures A2 [C] a number of objects or pieces of equipment needed for a particular activity, especially playing a game: a chess/train/chemistry setGroups and collections of thingsVariety and mixtures [C] specialized mathematics In mathematics, a set is a group of objects with stated characteristics.Numerical relationships [C, + sing/pl verb] a group of people who have similar interests and ways of living: the London set She's got in with a very arty set. The smart set is/are going to the Caprice restaurant this season.Groups of people

set noun (FILM/PLAY)

B2 [C] the place where a film or play is performed or recorded, and the pictures, furniture, etc. that are used: a film set a stage set a set designer They first met on the set of 'Star Wars'.Theatres, cinemas and their parts

set noun (PART)

B2 [C] a part of a game of tennis: They won in straight sets (= they won every set).Tennis and racket sports C2 [C] a musical performance that forms part of a concert, especially one of pop music or jazz: The band's opening set lasted 45 minutes.Musical performances

set noun (POSITION)

the set of sth the position in which you hold a part of your body: I could tell from the set of his jaw that he was angry.Places and locationsUnpleasant places [C] the act of having your hair set: a shampoo and setCare for the hair

set noun (TELEVISION)

[C] old-fashioned a television: We need a new television set.Television

set

adjective uk   /set/ us  

set adjective (READY)

C1 [after verb] ready and prepared: Shall we go now - is everyone set? Is everything all set for the party? At the start of the race, the starter said "On your marks, get set, go". We were just getting set to leave when Ben said he had something important to tell us.Ready and willingUnwilling and reluctant [after verb] likely or in a suitable condition: He looks set to become world champion again this year.Ready and willingUnwilling and reluctant

set adjective (FIXED)

C2 fixed or never changing: My parents say I have to be home by a set time. The restaurant does a set lunch (= a meal which is offered at a fixed price, but with little or no choice about what you have to eat) on Sundays. The receptionist had a bright set smile on his face, but I could tell that he was bored. My father has very set opinions/views on the matter.Standard and routine set expression/phrase a phrase in which the words are always used in the same orderSentences and expressions

set adjective (STUDY)

[before noun] a set book is one that must be studied for a particular course: The students are reading 'Lord of the Flies' as one of their set books/texts this year.Classes, courses and coursework
(Definition of set from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of set?
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