The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Settle \Set"tle\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Settled; p. pr. & vb. n.
Settling.] [OE. setlen, AS. setlan. [root]154. See
Settle, n. In senses 7, 8, and 9 perhaps confused with OE.
sahtlen to reconcile, AS. sahtlian, fr. saht reconciliation,
sacon to contend, dispute. Cf. Sake.]
1. To place in a fixed or permanent condition; to make firm,
steady, or stable; to establish; to fix; esp., to
establish in life; to fix in business, in a home, or the
And he settled his countenance steadfastly upon him,
until he was ashamed. --2 Kings
The father thought the time drew on
Of setting in the world his only son. --Dryden.
2. To establish in the pastoral office; to ordain or install
as pastor or rector of a church, society, or parish; as,
to settle a minister. [U. S.]
3. To cause to be no longer in a disturbed condition; to
render quiet; to still; to calm; to compose.
God settled then the huge whale-bearing lake.
Hoping that sleep might settle his brains. --Bunyan.
4. To clear of dregs and impurities by causing them to sink;
to render pure or clear; -- said of a liquid; as, to
settle coffee, or the grounds of coffee.
5. To restore or bring to a smooth, dry, or passable
condition; -- said of the ground, of roads, and the like;
as, clear weather settles the roads.
6. To cause to sink; to lower; to depress; hence, also, to
render close or compact; as, to settle the contents of a
barrel or bag by shaking it.
7. To determine, as something which is exposed to doubt or
question; to free from unscertainty or wavering; to make
sure, firm, or constant; to establish; to compose; to
quiet; as, to settle the mind when agitated; to settle
questions of law; to settle the succession to a throne; to
settle an allowance.
It will settle the wavering, and confirm the
8. To adjust, as something in discussion; to make up; to
compose; to pacify; as, to settle a quarrel.
9. To adjust, as accounts; to liquidate; to balance; as, to
settle an account.
10. Hence, to pay; as, to settle a bill. [Colloq.] --Abbott.
11. To plant with inhabitants; to colonize; to people; as,
the French first settled Canada; the Puritans settled New
England; Plymouth was settled in 1620.
To settle on or To settle upon,
(a) to confer upon by permanent grant; to assure to. "I .
. . have settled upon him a good annuity." --Addison.
(b) to choose; to decide on; -- sometimes with the
implication that the choice is not ideal, but the
To settle the land (Naut.), to cause it to sink, or appear
lower, by receding from it.
Syn: To fix; establish; regulate; arrange; compose; adjust;