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settle - definition and synonyms

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verb     settle pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesettling
past tensesettled
past participlesettled
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to end an argument by making an agreement

    We are going to settle our differences, once and for all.

    Neither side shows any intention of settling at this stage.

    1. a.
      to end a legal disagreement by the decision of a court or by making an agreement
      settle something out of court (=without asking a court to decide):

      The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to pay all the money that you owe to a particular person or company

    He has 30 days to settle his bill.

    The insurance company is refusing to settle the claim.

  3. 3
    [transitive] [usually passive] to decide something definitely
    it is settled that:

    It was settled that they would leave before dark.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if something such as dust, sand, or snow settles, it falls downwards through the air or water until it reaches the ground or the bottom of something

    It took a while for the silt and mud to settle.

    settle on:

    Flakes of snow settled on the windscreen.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to go and live permanently in a particular place
    settle in:

    Her relatives had come to America and settled in Boston.

    1. a.
      [transitive] [usually passive] to go to live in a place that does not have many people, and start to make it into a community

      When was this city first settled?

  6. 6
    [intransitive] if the ground or a building settles, it gradually sinks down
  7. 7
    [intransitive/transitive] to make yourself or someone else comfortable and relaxed in a particular place or position
    settle someone into/in/on something:

    She settled the little boy on the next stool to her.

    settle back:

    I settled back into a comfortable chair and waited.

  8. 8
    [intransitive/transitive] to become calm after being upset, nervous, or excited, or to make someone do this
    1. a.
      if your nerves or stomach settle or are settled, they become calm again after you have felt upset, nervous, or excited

      Let your stomach settle before having anything to eat.

  9. 9
    [transitive] to deal with all the details of something so that no more needs to be done to it

    You need a lawyer to help you settle your affairs.

  10. 10
    [transitive] to put something carefully in a place

    She settled her pack on her back, and set off.

  11. 11
    [intransitive] mainly literary to begin to have an effect on someone or something
    settle over/on/in:

    Fear settled over her heart.

  12. 12
    [intransitive] to stop flying and land in a particular place
    settle on:

    A large fly settled on the bread.

  13. 13
    [intransitive] mainly literary if your eyes settle on someone or something, you begin to look at them
    settle on:

    Her eyes settled on the man in the corner.

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