Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

set out - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyset out
he/she/itsets out
present participlesetting out
past tenseset out
past participleset out
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to leave on a trip

    After a three-day rest, the travelers set out again.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to explain, describe, or arrange something in a clear and detailed way, especially in writing

    In his report he sets out his plans for the department.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to put something where it can be seen or used
  4. 4
    [intransitive] to start doing or working on something in order to achieve a goal
    set out on:

    When we set out on this project, we knew it would be difficult.

    set out to do something:

    They set out to build their own house.

See also main entry: set


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play