From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsetset1 /set/ ●●● S1 W1 verb (past tense and past participle set, present participle setting) 1 put [transitive always + adverb/preposition]PUT written to carefully put something down somewhereset something (down) on something She set the tray down on a table next to his bed. Mark filled the pan and set it on the stove.set something down/aside The workmen set the box down carefully on the floor. Remove the mushrooms and set them aside.2 put into surface [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to put something into a surfacebe set into something Gates should be hung on sturdy posts set well into the ground.be set into the wall/floor/ceiling etc (=be built into the surface of something so that it does not stick out) an alarm button set into the wall beside the door Grammar Set is usually passive in this meaning.3 story [transitive always + adverb/preposition] if a film, play, story etc is set in a particular place or period, the action takes place there or thenbe set in something The novel is set in France.be set against something All this romance is set against a backdrop of rural Irish life. Grammar Set is usually passive in this meaning.4 consider [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to consider something in relation to other thingsset something against/beside something These casualty totals have to be set against the continuing growth in traffic. This debate should be set in an international context.5 establish somethingSTART something/MAKE something START [transitive] to establish a way of doing something that is then copied or regarded as goodset the pattern/tone/trend etc (for something) Art and literature flourished and this set the pattern for the whole of Europe. The prime minister’s fierce speech set the tone for the rest of the conference. It is important that parents set an example (=behave well). The outcome of the case will set a legal precedent. His photographs set the standard for landscapes. Freud’s views on sexuality set the agenda for much of the century (=people paid attention to the subjects he dealt with).6 start something happening [transitive] to make something start happening or to make someone start doing somethingset something in motion/progress/train A study by military experts was immediately set in motion. The chief executive will set in train the process of finding a successor.set something on fire/alight/ablaze (also set fire to something) (=make something start burning) Protesters set fire to two buses.set somebody/something doing something Her last remark has set me thinking. The wind set the trees rustling.7 decide something [transitive] to decide and state when something will happen, how much something should cost, what should be done etcset a date/time (for something) The government has still not set a date for the election. International companies set the price of oil.set standards/limits/guidelines etc high standards of hygiene set by the Department of Health8 start working [intransitive, transitive] to start doing something in a determined way, or to tell someone to start doing somethingset to work to do something They set to work to paint the outside of the building.set (somebody) to work on something He’s about to set to work on a second book.set (somebody) to work doing something The boys were set to work collecting firewood.set somebody to do something Rocard set himself to reform public sector industry.9 machine/clock etc [transitive]START something/MAKE something START to move a switch on a machine, clock etc so that it will start or stop working at the time you want, or in the way you want Did you set the alarm? I set the oven to come on at 12.set something to/at/on something Usually, the heating is set on ‘low’.10 liquid/glue/cement etc [intransitive]HARD to become hard and solid How long does it take for the glue to set?11 sun [intransitive]DNDOWN when the sun sets, it moves down in the sky and disappears opp rise12 → set (somebody) a goal13 → set your heart/mind/sights on (doing) something14 → set a record15 → set the table16 → set a trap17 → set somebody free/loose18 → set somebody straight/right19 face [intransitive] written if your face or mouth sets into a particular expression, you start to have an angry, sad, unfriendly etc expressionset into His mouth set into a rather grim line.20 → set your jaw21 bone a) [transitive]MH if a doctor sets a broken bone, he or she moves it into position so that the bone can grow together again b) [intransitive]MI if a broken bone sets, it joins together again22 class work [transitive] British EnglishGIVE to give a student in your class a piece of work to doset somebody something Mr Biggs has set us a 2,000-word essay.23 examination [transitive] British EnglishSEEXAM/TEST to write the questions for an examination The head teacher sets the questions for the English exam.24 printingTCN [transitive] to arrange the words and letters of a book, newspaper etc so it is ready to be printed In those days, books had to be set by hand.25 hair [transitive]DC to arrange someone’s hair while it is wet so that it has a particular style when it dries → set somebody at (their) ease at ease1(2), → set your face against something at face1(21), → set something to music at music(5), → set the pace at pace1(7), → set pen to paper at pen1(3), → set sail at sail2(2), → set the scene at scene(9), → set the stage for something at stage1(7), → set great store by/on something at store1(6), → set the world on fire/alight at world1(26), → set the world to rights at world1(27)COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 5: to establish a way of doing something that is then copied or regarded as goodnounsset an example (=behave well in a way that other people can copy)Parents should try to set a good example to their teenagers.set a precedent (=do something that later actions or decisions may be based on)This legislation would set a most dangerous precedent.set the pattern/trend (=do something in a way that is later repeated)That first day seemed to set the pattern for the following weeks.set the tone (=establish a general mood or feeling)The gloomy first chapter sets the tone for the rest of the novel.set the standard (=be very good, and so show how good other people or things should be)They wanted to set the standard for software.set the agenda (=establish what subjects should be discussed)We are not attempting to set the agenda for other women’s groups.set the pace (=move or change quickly, so that others try to do the same)With regard to industrialization, Britain set the pace in the first half of the nineteenth century.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 7: to decide and state when something will happen, how much something should cost, what should be done etcnounsset a date/timeNo date has been set for the election.set a priceWe set the price at £30.set standards/guidelines (=decide on standards, rules etc)The government has set new food quality standards for all school canteens.set limitsSet strict limits on your spending. → set about something/somebody → set somebody/something against somebody/something → set somebody/something apart → set something ↔ aside → set somebody/something back → set something/somebody ↔ down → set forth → set in → set off → set on somebody → set out → set to → set up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusset• Put the jelly in the fridge for an hour to set.• It's best to pour your yoghurt into small containers before it sets.• Leave the jam in a cool place to set.• At the end of the session, they were set a homework task.• Mr Harris always sets a lot of homework.• Spread the frosting on the brownies in a thin coat, only enough to cover, and set aside to firm.• The rate of interest, in the shape of a tax-free bonus, is set by the Treasury.• They were set for the garlic and the prawns, if they made it quick.• He was not a man to give way easily and he had clearly set his heart on making her recognise her father.• The play is set in Madrid in the year 1840.• Let the dessert set in the fridge for two hours.• The first to be set is the backlight.• We set our alarm for five a.m. so we could get an early start.• The concrete will take several hours to set, so make sure no one walks on it.• Is that all -- or has she set some other task for you as well?• Anneka was set the huge task by Christian Aid on behalf of a family who fled from war-torn Mozambique.• I still haven't figured out how to set the VCR to tape while I'm away.• Much of what follows is set therefore in the form of questions which need to be considered by all of us.• She set us some work to do in groups.• Had the glue set yet?set something (down) on something• By then all they wanted to do was set foot on dry land.• After 10 years of torment, Kiranjit Ahluwalia, 36, threw petrol over sleeping husband Deepak and set him on fire.• He set her on her feet without a word and steadied her while she manoeuvred the crutch into position.• Not for the first time, she wished Great-Aunt Alicia had never set eyes on Matthew Preston.• But as it was, I would have to set off on my own, blindly striking in the direction of Jodhpur.• Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, just until cookies are set and browning on the edges.• Make a nest of watercress on each bun half and set the burger on top.• And, perhaps reflecting later, more refined practice, they were all set down on what Taylor termed an instruction card.be set into something• We cooked the meat on a grill set into the table.• In the little churchyard in Sasbach, by contrast, two inconspicuous marble tablets are set into a wall.• Bricks or special edging slabs are set into concrete to provide an appropriate finish.• A word is a group of electronic components, each of which can be set into either of two states.• The girl's face was set into rigid lines from the garden, robbing them of all expression.• The large fish tank is set into the back wall most tastefully.• Canongate had its own Tolbooth, which has survived because it was set into the building line instead of blocking the thoroughfare.• The outer door was set into the lower corner of the left-hand wall.• In addition to ordinary manual control, for experienced cooks, the established instructions can be set into the oven's memory.be set in something• This themed experience is set in a labyrinth of passages, caverns and secret chambers, 60 feet below ground!• His face was set in a painful rictus, his chest heaving as he fought for breath.• His mouth was set in a prim, pained expression of disapproval.• As with most installations, the framing is done first, then the firebox is set in and the chimney assembled.• Constitutionalism, therefore, is to be set in contradistinction to arbitrary power.• The results will be set in the context of a study of the history of planning theory and urban policy making.• And my first novel was set in Toxteth.set in ... context• Prioritizing corporate crime has to be set in context.• For even his negative comments about Feuerbach are set in the context of a generous appreciation of the latter's intentions.• The results will be set in the context of a study of the history of planning theory and urban policy making.• All this is set in the context of conflict.• Performance in education is complex, controversial and should properly be set in the context of long time scales.• Language teaching will thus be set in the context of other influences.• This is set in the context of the changing international structure of the industries.• Unfortunately, the core teachings were set in cultural contexts that have been largely superseded.set the pattern/tone/trend etc (for something)• A 1903 revival at the Opera-Comique set the tone for international acclaim.• But clearly it was imperialistic palaeontologists rather than imperialist fossils that set the pattern in both cases.• Director Andrew Lane has set the tone of the movie at a pitch somewhere between sendup and subtle humor.• It caught on over here some years later with the Seven Men of Preston setting the trend.• That set the pattern for the next few days.• The beginning of the list sets the tone: 1.• The first gallery will set the tone with large, mature pieces.set something in motion/progress/train• Corot set the countryside in motion.• He has set the ball in motion.• Oliver corrected the clock and set it in motion.• On Jan. 13, Vega said, Guzman set his plot in motion.• The programme had lost the man responsible for setting it in motion.• Why, oh, why did you set such enquiries in train?• It is easy to make him look personally responsible for setting the process in train and bringing it to fruition.• How easy to see how a white kid could set this in motion with hardly any effort.set a date/time (for something)• The evening meal is served at a set time and is cooked to cordonbleu standard by Martha and is served by candlelight.• You need to set a time for a family talk and stick to the schedule.• The administration has 30 days to set a date for talks.• They pay a fixed income each year and promise to pay investors a set sum on a set date in the future.• I think most members here would agree that setting time lines or deadlines is really not advisable in most cases.• There are no set times or anything, I just do what I feel like.• After the initial excitement of announcing the engagement and setting a date, planning the event begins.set to work to do something• Murdock had found these ideas rather attractive and set to work to build a locomotive model.• Rayleigh and Jeans set to work to calculate this spectrum.• Having obtained this, he set to work to enclose the parish and to rearrange its landscape.• Beauty therapist Suzanne set to work to reduce the Santa spread by preparing Frigi-Thalgo.• Einstein, therefore, set to work to try to demolish the accepted version of quantum mechanics.set the alarm• Also, tell the security guard the office is empty so he can set the alarm.• I set the alarm clock for a quarter to midnight, and settled down for a couple of hours sleep.• He covered her with a blanket and set the alarm clock to ring in an hour, wrapping it in a towel.• I would then return to bed, setting the alarm for 7 a.m. for a repeat performance.• When users set the alarm in the internal clock, they would click on a picture of a rooster.• The sensor doesn't set the alarm off; the system isn't armed.• He locked his doors, cranked the seat back, and set the alarm on his wrist-watch.• So I set the alarm to go off at 2.sets the questions• Meanwhile, Hilary Murphy, who sets the questions, puts the final touches to Bob's board.