set a spell

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



  • (file)


set a spell (third-person singular simple present sets a spell, present participle setting a spell, simple past and past participle set a spell)

  1. (US, idiomatic, countrified dialect) To sit down for a period of time, especially in the company of other people and in order to relax or to engage in casual conversation.
    • 1876, Louisa May Alcott, “The Romance of a Summer Day”, in Silver Pitchers: and Independence:
      [S]he declined his invitation to "Come up and see the old woman and set a spell."
    • 1906, Myrtle Reed, chapter 2, in A Spinner in the Sun:
      "You might as well set down," remarked Miss Hitty, with a new gentleness of manner. "I'm going to set a spell."
    • 2000 January 30, Steve Strunsky, “New Jersey and Co.: Inside 'Big Box' Project, Threats to 'Little Boxes'”, in New York Times, retrieved 25 June 2011:
      Hank's Hardware is one of those quintessentially American places. . . . Hank's is a place where people can set a spell, but it is also a business, competing in the ever-tightening hardware marketplace.
    • 2005 November 24, Jean Parks, “Opinion: Retirement fulfills”, in USA Today, retrieved 25 June 2011:
      In this country community, we enjoy our neighbors as we never could before. There is time to set a spell and talk about the weather, family and days gone by.
  2. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see set,‎ a,‎ spell.