Word forms: sets
Definitionslanguage note: The form set is used in the present tense and is the past tense and past participle of the verb.Please look at category [sense 25] to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.
1. verb If you set something somewhere, you put it there, especially in a careful or deliberate way. [V n prep] ⇒ He took the case out of her hand and set it on the floor. [V n with adv] ⇒ When he set his glass down he spilled a little drink. 2. adjective
If something is set in a particular place or position, it is in that place or position. [+ in] ⇒ The castle is set in 25 acres of beautiful grounds. ⇒ Quiberon is set on an eight-mile peninsula.
If something is set into a surface, it is fixed there and does not stick out. [+ in] ⇒ The man unlocked a gate set in a high wall and let me through. ⇒ Set into an alcove under the side deck is a tiny wash basin.
4. verb You can use set to say that a person or thing causes another person or thing to be in a particular condition or situation. For example, to set someone free means to cause them to be free, and to set something going means to cause it to start working. [V n v-ing] ⇒ Set the kitchen timer going. [V n v-ing] ⇒ A phrase from the conference floor set my mind wandering. [be V-ed adj/adv] ⇒ Dozens of people have been injured and many vehicles set on fire. [V n with prep] ⇒ Churchill immediately set into motion a daring plan. 5. verb
When you set a clock or control, you adjust it to a particular point or level. [V n adv/prep] ⇒ Set the volume as high as possible. [V n] ⇒ I forgot to set my alarm and I overslept.
6. verb If you set a date, price, goal, or level, you decide what it will be. [V n] ⇒ The conference chairman has set a deadline of noon tomorrow. [be V-ed + for] ⇒ A date will be set for a future meeting. [V n] ⇒ The German government has set a tight budget for next year. [be V-ed at n] ⇒ The pass mark is set at 50 per cent. 7. verb If you set a certain value on something, you think it has that value. [V n + on] ⇒ She sets a high value on autonomy. [V n on n/-ing] ⇒ If you set no value on being a woman yourself, how can you expect others to? 8. verb If you set something such as a record, an example, or a precedent, you do something that people will want to copy or try to achieve. [V n] ⇒ Legal experts said her case would not set a precedent because it was an out-of-court settlement. [be V-ed] ⇒ A new world marathon record of 2 hrs, 8 min, 5 sec, was set by Stephen Jones of Great Britain. [V n] ⇒ They set the pace in cutting ozone-damaging emissions. [V n n] ⇒ If you are smoking in front of the children then you are setting them a bad example. 9. verb If someone sets you a task or aim or if you set yourself a task or aim, you need to succeed in doing it. [V n n] ⇒ I have to plan my academic work very rigidly and set myself clear objectives. [V n n] ⇒ We will train you first before we set you a task. [V n n] ⇒ The secret to happiness is to keep setting yourself new challenges. 10. verb To set an examination or a question paper means to decide what questions will be asked in it. [British] [V n] ⇒ He broke with the tradition of setting examinations in Latin.regional note: in AM, usually use make up 11. adjective [usu ADJ n]
You use set to describe something which is fixed and cannot be changed. ⇒ Investors can apply for a package of shares at a set price. ⇒ A set period of fasting is supposed to bring us closer to godliness. ⇒ There is a set menu from £24.00 for two courses with coffee.
12. adjective [ADJ n]
A set book must be studied by students taking a particular course. [British] ⇒ One of the set books is Jane Austen's Emma.regional note: in AM, use required
If a play, film, or story is set in a particular place or period of time, the events in it take place in that place or period. [+ in] ⇒ The play is set in a small Midwestern town. ⇒ ...a 1964 science fiction novel by Philip K Dick, set in 1994 in a colony of humans on Mars. ⇒ The Hungarian director has completed her powerful Diary trilogy, set against the background of events in her country.
14. adjective If you are set to do something, you are ready to do it or are likely to do it. If something is set to happen, it is about to happen or likely to happen. ⇒ Roberto Baggio was set to become one of the greatest players of all time. [V n] ⇒ The talks are set to continue through the week. 15. adjective
If you are set on something, you are strongly determined to do or have it. If you are set against something, you are strongly determined not to do or have it. [+ on/against] ⇒ She was set on going to an all-girls school. ⇒ Margaret was always mischievous and set on her own individual course. ⇒ France is also set against devaluation.
16. verb If you set your face or jaw, you put on a fixed expression of determination. [V n] ⇒ Instead, she set her jaw grimly and waited in silence. [V n] ⇒ He came insolently towards Mr. Won, his features set in a scowl. 17. verb When something such as jelly, melted plastic, or cement sets, it becomes firm or hard. [V] ⇒ You can add ingredients to these desserts as they begin to set. [V] ⇒ Lower the heat and allow the omelet to set on the bottom. [V adj] ⇒ The material requires higher temperatures and pressures to set hard. 18. verb When the sun sets, it goes below the horizon. [V] ⇒ They watched the sun set behind the distant dales. [V-ing] ⇒ ...the red glow of the setting sun. 19. verb To set a trap means to prepare it to catch someone or something. [V n + for] ⇒ He seemed to think I was setting some sort of trap for him. [V n] ⇒ They dug trenches in their path and set booby traps. 20. verb When someone sets the table, they prepare it for a meal by putting plates and cutlery on it. 21. verb
If someone sets a poem or a piece of writing to music, they write music for the words to be sung to. [V n + to] ⇒ He has attracted much interest by setting ancient religious texts to music.
25. → to set eyes on something
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers