Meaning of “set” - Learner’s Dictionary


verb us uk /set/ present participle setting, past tense and past participle set
A TIME [ T ]

B1 to arrange a time when something will happen:

[ often passive ] The next meeting is set for 6 February.

More examples


to decide the level of something:

The interest rate has been set at 5%.

B1 to press switches on a machine so that it will start when you want it to:

I've set the alarm for 6.30.
[ + to do sth ] You can set the oven to come on at any particular time.
set an example/a record/a standard, etc

B2 to do something in a way that people will copy or try to improve on:

Try to set a good example to the children.
She's set a new world record with that jump.
set fire to sth; set sth on fire

B2 to make something start burning

set sb free

B2 to allow someone to leave prison, or to allow a person or animal to escape

set sth alight

to make something start burning

set the table

to put plates, knives, forks, etc on the table before you have a meal

SUN [ I ]

B1 When the sun sets, it moves down in the sky so that it cannot be seen:

The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

If a liquid substance sets, it becomes solid:

How long does cement take to set?

B2 If you set work or an exam at a school or college, you ask the students to do it:

[ + two objects ] Mr Harley forgot to set us any maths homework.
set sth down/on, etc

to put something somewhere:

She set the vase down on the table.

B1 If a book, play, or movie is set in a place or period of time, the story happens there or at that time:

[ often passive ] It's a historical adventure set in India in the 1940s.
set to work

to start working

(Definition of “set verb” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)