Did you know?

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

set - 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.

adjective     set pronunciation in American English
  1. 1
    [usually before noun] already decided or agreed

    There’s no set time limit for the job.

    He charges a set fee for his services.

  2. 2
    [never before noun] ready to do something
    get set:

    On your marks, get set, go!

    set for:

    The top contenders are set for the showdown at next week’s championship.

    be all set (for something):

    Are you all set for the party tonight?

    be all set to do something:

    I was all set to do it myself when he finally showed up.

  3. 3
    [never before noun] likely to do something
    set for:

    The museum is set for a major expansion.

    be set to do something:

    The costs of many imports are set to rise under the new trade proposals.

    look set to do something:

    Rosenthal looks set to miss the game because of injury.

  4. 4
    not willing to change your opinion or way of doing things
    be set in your ways:

    He’s old and stubborn and set in his ways.

  5. 5
    [only before noun] a set smile or expression does not change, and often hides what someone is really thinking

    Iris stared in front of her with a set expression, making no response.

  6. 6
    [only before noun] a set meal in a restaurant or hotel offers a limited choice of different foods for a fixed price

    Dinner is a set menu of three courses.

  7. 7
    [only before noun] mainly British a set book or text contains information that students must study before an examination
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

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