Jump to navigation Jump to search
Audio (AU) (file)
set off (third-person singular simple present sets off, present participle setting off, simple past and past participle set off)
- (idiomatic, intransitive) To leave; to begin a journey or trip.
- He set off in search of better opportunities.
- 1941 October, “Notes and News: A Highland Runaway”, in Railway Magazine, page 469:
- Considerable excitement was caused on the L.M.S.R. Aberdeen line out of Perth recently when a shunting engine in Perth North goods yard, whose driver and fireman were absent, was accidentally set in motion by a shunter and set off unattended on to the main line.
- (idiomatic, transitive) To begin; to cause; to initiate.
- I had no idea that one simple comment would set off such a huge argument.
- (idiomatic, transitive) To cause to explode, let off.
- What a tragedy, that someone would set off a bomb in a crowded place.
- 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, OCLC 246633669, PC, scene: Secure Lab, Rift Station, Noveria:
- Wrex There are acid tanks rigged up on that thing. Set them off. Millions of my ancestors died to put these things down. Don't let them come back.
- (idiomatic, transitive) To put into an angry mood; to start (a person) ranting or sulking, etc.
- Don't set him off or he won't shut up all day.
- (idiomatic, transitive) To enhance by emphasizing differences.
- Her plain white dress was set off by a bright red stole.
- 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
- And then one afternoon in the hinder end of April came young Heriotside riding to the Skerburnfoot. His arm was healed, he had got him a fine new suit of green, and his horse was a mettle beast that well set off his figure.
- (idiomatic, transitive) To offset, to compensate for: to reduce the effect of, by having a contrary effect.
- My taxes did not increase because the amount of my raise was set off by my losses in the stock market.
- 1908, Henry James, chapter XXXIX, in The Portrait of a Lady (The Novels and Tales of Henry James), volume (please specify |volume=I or II), New York edition, Boston, Mass.; New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, OCLC 4447781; republished as The Portrait of a Lady (EBook #283), United States: Project Gutenberg, 1 September 2001:
- When a woman had made such a mistake, there was only one way to repair it,—to accept it. One folly was enough, especially it was to last for ever; a second one would not much set it off.
- (printing, historical) To deface or soil the next sheet; said of the ink on a freshly printed sheet, when another sheet comes in contact with it before it has had time to dry.
To leave; begin a journey or trip
To begin; to cause; to initiate
To cause to explode
To make angry
To offset — see offset
- English terms with audio links
- English lemmas
- English verbs
- English multiword terms
- English idioms
- English intransitive verbs
- English terms with usage examples
- English terms with quotations
- English transitive verbs
- English terms with historical senses
- English phrasal verbs
- English phrasal verbs with particle (off)