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See also: setoff and set off


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set-off (plural set-offs)

  1. That which is set off against another thing; an offset.
    • D. Jerrold
      I do not contemplate such a heroine as a set-off to the many sins imputed to me as committed against woman.
  2. (dated) That which is used to improve the appearance of anything; a decoration; an ornament.
  3. (law) A counterclaim; a cross debt or demand; a distinct claim filed or set up by the defendant against the plaintiff's demand.
  4. (printing) An offset.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the legal sense, set-off differs from recoupment: the latter generally grows out of the same matter or contract with the plaintiff's claim, while the former grows out of distinct matter, and does not of itself deny the justice of the plaintiff's demand.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for set-off in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)