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set up - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyset up
he/she/itsets up
present participlesetting up
past tenseset up
past participleset up
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to start something such as a business, organization, or institution

    The group plans to set up an import business.

    Rebels have set up an independent state within the country.

    set up shop (=start a business):

    Hewlett and Packard set up shop in the now legendary garage in downtown Palo Alto.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make it possible for someone to start a business, organization, or institution
      set someone up in business:

      a privileged kid whose father set him up in business

  2. 2
    [transitive] to organize or plan something such as an event or system

    I’ll set up a meeting for Thursday.

    The program will set up a regional library system.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to build a structure, or to put it in a particular place
    set up a roadblock:

    The army set up roadblocks to stop people trying to escape.

  4. 4
    [transitive] set up something to make something start to happen
  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a piece of equipment ready for use

    While the band is setting up, would you check on the food?

    The kids are setting up the volleyball net.

    Will you be able to set up my PC?

  6. 6
    [transitive] informal to arrange a situation so that someone is blamed for doing something, especially something illegal

    She claims she’s innocent and someone set her up.

  7. 7
    [transitive] British to prepare someone for something
  8. 8
    [transitive] mainly British to put someone in a position of power
    set someone up as something:

    a plan to set him up as party leader

  9. 9
    to arrange for two people who you know to go out together because you think they might like each other
    set someone up with someone:

    I think we should set Ryan up with my cousin.

  10. 10
    set up camp
    1. a.
      to put a tent in an upright position, or to build a shelter somewhere

      We set up camp for the night near the river.

    2. b.
      to put your possessions or equipment in a particular place so that you can live, work, or spend a lot of time there

      She set up camp in the kitchen while they painted the bedroom.

  11. 11
    set someone up for life to provide someone with enough money so that they do not have to work for the rest of their life

    a trust fund that set her up for life

  12. 12
    set up house/home to begin living in a particular place or with a particular person

    After graduation, we decided to set up house together.

  13. 13
    set yourself up as something to claim to be something that you are not

    He sets himself up as some kind of a financial expert.

See also main entry: set
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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

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