The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Set \Set\ (s[e^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Set; p. pr. & vb. n.
Setting.] [OE. setten, AS. setton; akin to OS. settian,
OFries. setta, D. zetten, OHG. sezzen, G. setzen, Icel.
setja, Sw. s[aum]tta, Dan. s?tte, Goth. satjan; causative
from the root of E. sit. [root]154. See Sit, and cf.
1. To cause to sit; to make to assume a specified position or
attitude; to give site or place to; to place; to put; to
fix; as, to set a house on a stone foundation; to set a
book on a shelf; to set a dish on a table; to set a chest
or trunk on its bottom or on end.
I do set my bow in the cloud. --Gen. ix. 13.
2. Hence, to attach or affix (something) to something else,
or in or upon a certain place.
Set your affection on things above. --Col. iii. 2.
The Lord set a mark upon Cain. --Gen. iv. 15.
3. To make to assume specified place, condition, or
occupation; to put in a certain condition or state
(described by the accompanying words); to cause to be.
The Lord thy God will set thee on high. --Deut.
I am come to set a man at variance against his
father, and the daughter against her mother. --Matt.
Every incident sets him thinking. --Coleridge.
4. To fix firmly; to make fast, permanent, or stable; to
render motionless; to give an unchanging place, form, or
condition to. Specifically:
(a) To cause to stop or stick; to obstruct; to fasten to a
spot; hence, to occasion difficulty to; to embarrass;
as, to set a coach in the mud.
They show how hard they are set in this
(b) To fix beforehand; to determine; hence, to make
unyielding or obstinate; to render stiff, unpliant, or
rigid; as, to set one's countenance.
His eyes were set by reason of his age. --1
Kings xiv. 4.
On these three objects his heart was set.
Make my heart as a millstone, set my face as a
(c) To fix in the ground, as a post or a tree; to plant;
as, to set pear trees in an orchard.
(d) To fix, as a precious stone, in a border of metal; to
place in a setting; hence, to place in or amid
something which serves as a setting; as, to set glass
in a sash.
And him too rich a jewel to be set
In vulgar metal for a vulgar use. --Dryden.
(e) To render stiff or solid; especially, to convert into
curd; to curdle; as, to set milk for cheese.
5. To put into a desired position or condition; to adjust; to
regulate; to adapt. Specifically:
(a) To put in order in a particular manner; to prepare;
as, to set (that is, to hone) a razor; to set a saw.
Tables for to sette, and beddes make. --Chaucer.
(b) To extend and bring into position; to spread; as, to
set the sails of a ship.
(c) To give a pitch to, as a tune; to start by fixing the
keynote; as, to set a psalm. --Fielding.
(d) To reduce from a dislocated or fractured state; to
replace; as, to set a broken bone.
(e) To make to agree with some standard; as, to set a
watch or a clock.
(f) (Masonry) To lower into place and fix solidly, as the
blocks of cut stone in a structure.
6. To stake at play; to wager; to risk.
I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die. --Shak.
7. To fit with music; to adapt, as words to notes; to prepare
Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute.
8. To determine; to appoint; to assign; to fix; as, to set a
time for a meeting; to set a price on a horse.
9. To adorn with something infixed or affixed; to stud; to
variegate with objects placed here and there.
High on their heads, with jewels richly set,
Each lady wore a radiant coronet. --Dryden.
Pastoral dales thin set with modern farms.
10. To value; to rate; -- with at.
Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
To have a son set your decrees at naught. --Shak.
I do not set my life at a pin's fee. --Shak.
11. To point out the seat or position of, as birds, or other
game; -- said of hunting dogs.
12. To establish as a rule; to furnish; to prescribe; to
assign; as, to set an example; to set lessons to be
13. To suit; to become; as, it sets him ill. [Scot.]
14. (Print.) To compose; to arrange in words, lines, etc.;
as, to set type; to set a page.
To set abroach. See Abroach. [Obs.] --Shak.
To set against, to oppose; to set in comparison with, or to
oppose to, as an equivalent in exchange; as, to set one
thing against another.
To set agoing, to cause to move.
To set apart, to separate to a particular use; to separate
from the rest; to reserve.
To set a saw, to bend each tooth a little, every alternate
one being bent to one side, and the intermediate ones to
the other side, so that the opening made by the saw may be
a little wider than the thickness of the back, to prevent
the saw from sticking.
To set aside.
(a) To leave out of account; to pass by; to omit; to
neglect; to reject; to annul.
Setting aside all other considerations, I will
endeavor to know the truth, and yield to that.
(b) To set apart; to reserve; as, to set aside part of
(c) (Law) See under Aside.
To set at defiance, to defy.
To set at ease, to quiet; to tranquilize; as, to set the
heart at ease.
To set at naught, to undervalue; to contemn; to despise.
"Ye have set at naught all my counsel." --Prov. i. 25.
To set a trap To set a snare, or To set a gin, to put
it in a proper condition or position to catch prey; hence,
to lay a plan to deceive and draw another into one's
To set at work, or To set to work.
(a) To cause to enter on work or action, or to direct how
tu enter on work.
(b) To apply one's self; -- used reflexively.
To set before.
(a) To bring out to view before; to exhibit.
(b) To propose for choice to; to offer to.
To set by.
(a) To set apart or on one side; to reject.
(b) To attach the value of (anything) to. "I set not a
straw by thy dreamings." --Chaucer.
To set by the compass, to observe and note the bearing or
situation of by the compass.
To set case, to suppose; to assume. Cf. Put case, under
Put, v. t. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
To set down.
(a) To enter in writing; to register.
Some rules were to be set down for the
government of the army. --Clarendon.
(b) To fix; to establish; to ordain.
This law we may name eternal, being that order
which God . . . hath set down with himself, for
himself to do all things by. --Hooker.
(c) To humiliate.
To set eyes on, to see; to behold; to fasten the eyes on.
To set fire to, or To set on fire, to communicate fire
to; fig., to inflame; to enkindle the passions of; to
To set flying (Naut.), to hook to halyards, sheets, etc.,
instead of extending with rings or the like on a stay; --
said of a sail.
To set forth.
(a) To manifest; to offer or present to view; to exhibt;
(b) To publish; to promulgate; to make appear. --Waller.
(c) To send out; to prepare and send. [Obs.]
The Venetian admiral had a fleet of sixty
galleys, set forth by the Venetians. --Knolles.
To set forward.
(a) To cause to advance.
(b) To promote.
To set free, to release from confinement, imprisonment, or
bondage; to liberate; to emancipate.
To set in, to put in the way; to begin; to give a start to.
If you please to assist and set me in, I will
recollect myself. --Collier.
To set in order, to adjust or arrange; to reduce to method.
"The rest will I set in order when I come." --1 Cor. xi.
To set milk.
(a) To expose it in open dishes in order that the cream
may rise to the surface.
(b) To cause it to become curdled as by the action of
rennet. See 4
To set much by or To set little by, to care much, or
To set of, to value; to set by. [Obs.] "I set not an haw of
his proverbs." --Chaucer.
To set off.
(a) To separate from a whole; to assign to a particular
purpose; to portion off; as, to set off a portion of
(b) To adorn; to decorate; to embellish.
They . . . set off the worst faces with the
best airs. --Addison.
(c) To give a flattering description of.
To set off against, to place against as an equivalent; as,
to set off one man's services against another's.
To set on or To set upon.
(a) To incite; to instigate. "Thou, traitor, hast set on
thy wife to this." --Shak.
(b) To employ, as in a task. " Set on thy wife to
(c) To fix upon; to attach strongly to; as, to set one's
heart or affections on some object. See definition 2,
To set one's cap for. See under Cap, n.
To set one's self against, to place one's self in a state
of enmity or opposition to.
To set one's teeth, to press them together tightly.
To set on foot, to set going; to put in motion; to start.
To set out.
(a) To assign; to allot; to mark off; to limit; as, to
set out the share of each proprietor or heir of an
estate; to set out the widow's thirds.
(b) To publish, as a proclamation. [Obs.]
(c) To adorn; to embellish.
An ugly woman, in rich habit set out with
jewels, nothing can become. --Dryden.
(d) To raise, equip, and send forth; to furnish. [R.]
The Venetians pretend they could set out, in
case of great necessity, thirty men-of-war.
(e) To show; to display; to recommend; to set off.
I could set out that best side of Luther.
(f) To show; to prove. [R.] "Those very reasons set out
how heinous his sin was." --Atterbury.
(g) (Law) To recite; to state at large.
To set over.
(a) To appoint or constitute as supervisor, inspector,
ruler, or commander.
(b) To assign; to transfer; to convey.
To set right, to correct; to put in order.
To set sail. (Naut.) See under Sail, n.
To set store by, to consider valuable.
To set the fashion, to determine what shall be the fashion;
to establish the mode.
To set the teeth on edge, to affect the teeth with a
disagreeable sensation, as when acids are brought in
contact with them.
To set the watch (Naut.), to place the starboard or port
watch on duty.
To set to, to attach to; to affix to. "He . . . hath set to
his seal that God is true." --John iii. 33.
To set up. (a) To erect; to raise; to elevate; as, to set
up a building, or a machine; to set up a post, a wall, a
(b) Hence, to exalt; to put in power. "I will . . . set
up the throne of David over Israel." --2 Sam. iii.
(c) To begin, as a new institution; to institute; to
establish; to found; as, to set up a manufactory; to
set up a school.
(d) To enable to commence a new business; as, to set up a
son in trade.
(e) To place in view; as, to set up a mark.
(f) To raise; to utter loudly; as, to set up the voice.
I'll set up such a note as she shall hear.
(g) To advance; to propose as truth or for reception; as,
to set up a new opinion or doctrine. --T. Burnet.
(h) To raise from depression, or to a sufficient fortune;
as, this good fortune quite set him up.
(i) To intoxicate. [Slang]
(j) (Print.) To put in type; as, to set up copy; to
arrange in words, lines, etc., ready for printing;
as, to set up type.
To set up the rigging (Naut.), to make it taut by means of
tackles. --R. H. Dana, Jr.
Syn: See Put.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
By \By\ (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[imac], big, near to, by,
of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be,
D. bij, OHG. b[imac], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. 'amfi`.
E. prefix be- is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref.
1. In the neighborhood of; near or next to; not far from;
close to; along with; as, come and sit by me.
By foundation or by shady rivulet
He sought them both. --Milton.
2. On; along; in traversing. Compare 5.
Long labors both by sea and land he bore. --Dryden.
By land, by water, they renew the charge. --Pope.
3. Near to, while passing; hence, from one to the other side
of; past; as, to go by a church.
4. Used in specifying adjacent dimensions; as, a cabin twenty
feet by forty.
5. Against. [Obs.] --Tyndale [1. Cor. iv. 4].
6. With, as means, way, process, etc.; through means of; with
aid of; through; through the act or agency of; as, a city
is destroyed by fire; profit is made by commerce; to take
Note: To the meaning of by, as denoting means or agency,
belong, more or less closely, most of the following
uses of the word:
(a) It points out the author and producer; as, "Waverley",
a novel by Sir W.Scott; a statue by Canova; a sonata
(b) In an oath or adjuration, it indicates the being or
thing appealed to as sanction; as, I affirm to you by
all that is sacred; he swears by his faith as a
Christian; no, by Heaven.
(c) According to; by direction, authority, or example of;
after; -- in such phrases as, it appears by his
account; ten o'clock by my watch; to live by rule; a
model to build by.
(d) At the rate of; according to the ratio or proportion
of; in the measure or quantity of; as, to sell cloth
by the yard, milk by the quart, eggs by the dozen,
meat by the pound; to board by the year.
(e) In comparison, it denotes the measure of excess or
deficiency; when anything is increased or diminished,
it indicates the measure of increase or diminution;
as, larger by a half; older by five years; to lessen
by a third.
(f) It expresses continuance or duration; during the
course of; within the period of; as, by day, by night.
(g) As soon as; not later than; near or at; -- used in
expressions of time; as, by this time the sun had
risen; he will be here by two o'clock.
Note: In boxing the compass, by indicates a pint nearer to,
or towards, the next cardinal point; as, north by east,
i.e., a point towards the east from the north;
northeast by east, i.e., on point nearer the east than
Note: With is used instead of by before the instrument with
which anything is done; as, to beat one with a stick;
the board was fastened by the carpenter with nails. But
there are many words which may be regarded as means or
processes, or, figuratively, as instruments; and
whether with or by shall be used with them is a matter
of arbitrary, and often, of unsettled usage; as, to a
reduce a town by famine; to consume stubble with fire;
he gained his purpose by flattery; he entertained them
with a story; he distressed us with or by a recital of
his sufferings. see With.
By all means, most assuredly; without fail; certainly.
By and by.
(a) Close together (of place). [Obs.] "Two yonge knightes
liggyng [lying] by and by." --Chaucer.
(b) Immediately; at once. [Obs.] "When . . . persecution
ariseth because of the word, by and by he is
offended." --Matt. xiii. 21.
(c) Presently; pretty soon; before long.
Note: In this phrase, by seems to be used in the sense of
nearness in time, and to be repeated for the sake of
emphasis, and thus to be equivalent to "soon, and
soon," that is instantly; hence, -- less emphatically,
-- pretty soon, presently.
By one's self, with only one's self near; alone; solitary.
By the bye. See under Bye.
By the head (Naut.), having the bows lower than the stern;
-- said of a vessel when her head is lower in the water
than her stern. If her stern is lower, she is by the
By the lee, the situation of a vessel, going free, when she
has fallen off so much as to bring the wind round her
stern, and to take her sails aback on the other side.
By the run, to let go by the run, to let go altogether,
instead of slacking off.
By the way, by the bye; -- used to introduce an incidental
or secondary remark or subject.
Day by day, One by one, Piece by piece, etc., each day,
each one, each piece, etc., by itself singly or
separately; each severally.
To come by, to get possession of; to obtain.
To do by, to treat, to behave toward.
To set by, to value, to esteem.
To stand by, to aid, to support.
Note: The common phrase good-by is equivalent to farewell,
and would be better written good-bye, as it is a
corruption of God be with you (b'w'ye).