set up - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb
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):

    After the war, she set up shop in a quiet Yorkshire town.

    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 programme 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
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a piece of equipment ready for use

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

    Will you be able to set up my PC?

    The kids are setting up the volleyball net.

  5. 5
    [transitive] set up something to make something start to happen
  6. 6
    [transitive] British to prepare someone for something
    set someone up for something:

    Have something hot to set you up for the journey.

  7. 7
    [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.

  8. 8
    [transitive] 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. 13
    set yourself up as something to claim to be something that you are not

    He sets himself up as some kind of financial expert.

See also main entry: set