Language: Old English
Origin: setlan


set‧tle S2 W2

end argument

[intransitive and transitive] to end an argument or solve a disagreement
settle a dispute/lawsuit/conflict/argument etc
Rodman met with Kreeger to try and settle the dispute over his contract.
We hope the factions will be able to settle their differences (=agree to stop arguing) by peaceful means.
Forensic tests should settle the question of whether Bates was actually present at the scene of the crime.
settle with
She finally settled with her former employers for an undisclosed sum.
They might be willing to settle out of court (=come to an agreement without going to a court of law).


[transitive usually passive] to decide what you are going to do, especially so that you can make definite arrangements:
Nothing's settled yet.
It's settled then. I'll go back to the States in June.
'She's only 15.' ' That settles it! (=that is enough information for a definite decision to be made) We're not taking her with us!'

start living in a place

a) [intransitive,transitive usually passive] to go to a place where no people have lived permanently before and start to live there:
This territory was settled in the mid-1850s by German immigrants.
b) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to go to live in a new place, and stay there for a long time
settle in
Many Jewish people settled in the Lower East Side.


[intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition] to put yourself or someone else in a comfortable position
settle yourself in/on etc something
Donna did not dare settle herself too comfortably into her seat, in case she fell asleep.
The dog settled on the grass to enjoy its bone.
A nurse settled the old man into a chair.
settle back


also settle down [intransitive and transitive] to become quiet and calm, or to make someone quiet and calm:
When the children had settled, Miss Brown gave out the new reading books.
She breathed deeply to settle her nerves (=stop herself from feeling worried or frightened).

move down

a) if dust, snow etc settles, it comes down and stays in one place
settle on
Snow settled on the roofs.
b) if a bird, insect etc settles, it flies down and rests on something
settle on
A fly kept trying to settle on his face.
c) if something such as a building or the ground settles, it sinks slowly to a lower level:
The crack in the wall is caused by the ground settling.

pay money

[transitive] to pay money that is owed
settle a bill/account/claim
I always settle my account in full each month.
These insurance companies take forever to settle a claim.
settle with
He was able to settle with his creditors, and avoid going to jail.

organize business/money

[transitive] to deal with all the details of a business or of someone's money or property, so that nothing further needs to be done:
When it is finally settled, the Marshall estate may be worth no more than $100,000.
After her husband's death, Jackie went to the city to settle his affairs.

settle a score/account

to do something to hurt or cause trouble for someone because they have harmed or offended you:
Did he have any enemies - someone with an old score to settle?

somebody's eyes/gaze settles on somebody/something

written if your eyes settle on something or someone, you notice them and look at them for a period of time:
Her gaze settled on a door, and she wondered what was on the other side of it.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] written if a quality or feeling settles over a place or person, it begins and has a strong effect
settle over/on
An uneasy silence settled over the room.
Depression settled over her like a heavy black cloud.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] written if a particular expression settles on your face, it stays there:
A disapproving frown settled on her face.


[intransitive and transitive] if your stomach settles, or if something settles it, it stops feeling uncomfortable or making you sick:
Georgia had taken pills to settle her stomach, but she was still throwing up every hour.

➔ let the dust settle/wait for the dust to settle

at dust1 (5)

settle back

phrasal verb
to lean back in a bed or chair, and relax and enjoy yourself:
Vera settled back to enjoy the film.

settle down

phrasal verb

settle (somebody) down

to become quiet and calm, or to make someone quiet and calm:
Shh! Settle down please! Now turn to page 57.
When Kyle was a baby we used to take him for rides in the car to settle him down.
2 to start living a quiet and calm life in one place, especially when you get married:
They'd like to see their daughter settle down, get married, and have kids.
3 to start giving all of your attention to a job or activity
settle down to
I sorted out my mail, then settled down to some serious work.
4 if a situation settles down, it becomes calmer and you are less busy or less worried:
It's been really hectic here. When things settle down, I'll give you a call.

settle for something

phrasal verb
to accept something even though it is not the best, or not what you really want:
They want $2500 for it, but they might settle for $2000.

settle in

phrasal verb
to begin to feel happy and relaxed in a new situation, home, job, or school:
How's your new home? Are you settling in OK?
It takes a few months to settle into life at college.

settle on/upon somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to decide or agree on something:
They haven't settled on a name for the baby yet.

settle something on somebody

British English formalBF to make a formal arrangement to give money or property to someone:
She settled a small yearly sum on each of her children.

settle up

phrasal verb
BBT to pay what you owe on an account or bill:
We settled up and checked out of the hotel.
settle up with
I'll settle up with the bartender, then let's go.

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