Definition of


  1. (noun, group) a group of things of the same kind that belong together and are so used
    a set of golf clubs
    a set of teeth
  2. (noun, group) (mathematics) an abstract collection of numbers or symbols
  3. (noun, act) several exercises intended to be done in series
  4. (noun, artifact) representation consisting of the scenery and other properties used to identify the location of a dramatic production
  5. (noun, group) an unofficial association of people or groups
    they were an angry lot
  6. (noun, cognition) a relatively permanent inclination to react in a particular way
  7. (noun, act) the act of putting something in position
  8. (noun, time) a unit of play in tennis or squash
  9. (noun, process) the process of becoming hard or solid by cooling or drying or crystallization
    he tested the set of the glue
  10. (noun, person) evil Egyptian god with the head of a beast that has high square ears and a long snout; brother and murderer of Osiris
  11. (noun, event) the descent of a heavenly body below the horizon
  12. (noun, cognition) (psychology) being temporarily ready to respond in a particular way
    his instructions deliberately gave them the wrong set
  13. (noun, artifact) any electronic equipment that receives or transmits radio or tv signals
  14. (verb, contact) put into a certain place or abstract location
    Set the tray down
    Set the dogs on the scent of the missing children
    Place emphasis on a certain point
  15. (verb, cognition) fix conclusively or authoritatively
  16. (verb, communication) decide upon or fix definitely
    specify the parameters
  17. (verb, communication) establish as the highest level or best performance
  18. (verb, change) put into a certain state; cause to be in a certain state
  19. (verb, contact) fix in a border
  20. (verb, change) make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc
    prepare for war
    I was fixing to leave town after I paid the hotel bill
  21. (verb, change) set to a certain position or cause to operate correctly
  22. (verb, creation) locate
  23. (verb, motion) disappear beyond the horizon
  24. (verb, creation) adapt for performance in a different way
  25. (verb, contact) put or set (seeds, seedlings, or plants) into the ground
  26. (verb, creation) apply or start
  27. (verb, change) become gelatinous
  28. (verb, creation) set in type
    set these words in italics
  29. (verb, contact) put into a position that will restore a normal state
  30. (verb, contact) insert (a nail or screw below the surface, as into a countersink)
  31. (verb, contact) give a fine, sharp edge to a knife or razor
  32. (verb, competition) urge to attack someone
    the shaman sics sorcerers on the evil spirits
  33. (verb, cognition) estimate
  34. (verb, change) equip with sails or masts
  35. (verb, change) get ready for a particular purpose or event
    set the table
    lay out the tools for the surgery
  36. (verb, change) alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard
    correct the alignment of the front wheels
  37. (verb, body) bear fruit
  38. (verb, body) arrange attractively
  39. (adj, all) (usually followed by `to' or `for') on the point of or strongly disposed
    fit to drop
    laughing fit to burst
    she was fit to scream
    primed for a fight
    we are set to go at any time
  40. (adj, all) fixed and unmoving
    his bearded face already has a set hollow look
    a face rigid with pain
  41. (adj, all) situated in a particular spot or position
    strategically placed artillery
    a house set on a hilltop
    nicely situated on a quiet riverbank
  42. (adj, all) set down according to a plan:
    stones laid in a pattern
  43. (adj, all) being below the horizon
  44. (adj, all) determined or decided upon as by an authority
    the dictated terms of surrender
    the time set for the launching
  45. (adj, all) converted to solid form (as concrete)

via WordNet, Princeton University

Antonyms of Set


Alternate forms of Set

Derivations: set, setting

Hyponyms: advance, afforest, align, appose, arrange, assess, attune, barrel, bed, bob, bottle, brace, bracket, bucket, butt, calibrate, camp, car pool, cartesian product, charge, checkrow, chess set, choir, citify, clap, clique, cock, coffin, cohort, company, confederacy, congealment, congelation, conjugation, consort, conspiracy, coordinate, core, core group, coterie, cram, crop, cultivate, date, decompress, define, dentition, deposit, depressurise, depressurize, diagonal, dibble, dispose, docket, domain, domain of a function, emplace, enclose, ensconce, field, filiate, fine-tune, fit, fix, focalise, focalize, focus, forest, format, four hundred, glycerolise, glycerolize, graduate, ground, group, harmonise, harmonize, horsey set, horsy set, identify, image, imbricate, inclose, ingroup, initialise, initialize, inner circle, insert, instal, install, intersection, intersperse, interval, introduce, jar, jet set, join, justify, juxtapose, keynote, ladle, lay, lay out, lay over, lean, linearise, linearize, load, locus, lose, mandelbrot set, manicure set, marshal, match, mathematical group, mathematical space, middle, mislay, misplace, modulate, mount, name, nestle, nucleus, null set, octet, octette, ordinate, pack, pair, parallelize, park, party, perch, pigeonhole, pile, pillow, pitch, place, place down, place upright, plant, plumb, poise, portfolio, posit, position, postpose, prearrange, precondition, prepose, pressurise, pressurize, price, prime, product, proportion, provide, puddle, put, put back, put down, put in, quadruple, quadruplet, quantify, quartet, quartette, quintet, quintette, quintuple, quintuplet, rack up, range, range of a function, readjust, receiver, receiving system, recess, recline, reconcile, regulate, replace, replant, repose, reposition, reset, rest, root, scene, scenery, score, seat, seed, sender, septet, septette, sestet, set, set ahead, set down, set up, settle, settle down, sextet, sextette, sharpen, shelve, ship, sign, singleton, siphon, sit, sit down, situate, snuggle, socialise, socialize, solution, sow, space, stand, stand up, step, stick in, stratify, subset, suite, sum, summerise, summerize, superimpose, superpose, sync, synchronise, synchronize, synset, table, tabularise, tabularize, tabulate, tax, tee, tee up, teeth, temper, threescore, throw, thrust, time, topological space, transmitter, transpose, tree, trench, triad, trim, trio, triple, triplet, tune, tune up, underlay, union, universal set, upend, value, wave, winterise, winterize, work, zero, zero in

Hypernyms: abstract entity, abstraction, accumulation, action, activity, adjust, aggregation, alter, approximate, arrange, assail, assault, assemblage, attack, bury, change, choose, cognitive state, collection, come down, compose, correct, descend, descent, displace, disposition, electronic equipment, emplacement, equip, establish, estimate, exercise, exercising, fall, fit, fit out, fix, gauge, gear up, go down, groom, guess, hone, impress, inclination, initiate, judge, lay, lay down, locating, location, make, modify, move, multiply, natural action, natural process, neaten, originate, outfit, period of play, physical exercise, physical exertion, pick out, place, placement, play, playing period, pose, position, positioning, prepare, present, print, procreate, put, ready, represent, representation, reproduce, select, set, set on, set up, sink, social group, solidify, stage, start, state of mind, take, tendency, workout, write

Origin of the word Set

  1. O.E. settan "cause to sit, put in some place, fix firmly," from P.Gmc. *satjanan (cf. O.N. setja, O.Fris. setta, Du. zetten, Ger. setzen), causative form of P.Gmc. root *set- (cf. O.E. sittan "to sit," see sit). Confused with sit since early 14c. Of the sun, moon, etc., "to go down," recorded from c.1300. Set-to<… more
  2. "fixed," from M.E. sett, prop. pp. of setten "to set" (see set (v.)). Meaning "ready, prepared" first recorded 1844. more
  3. "collection of things," mid-15c., from O.Fr. sette "sequence," variant of secte, from M.L. secta "retinue," from L. secta "a following" (see sect). The word had been earlier used in Eng. in the sense of "religious sect" (late 14c.), which likely is the direct source of some meanings, e.g. "group of persons with shared status, habits, etc." (1680s). S… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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