set off

set off
1) PHRASAL VERB When you set off, you start a journey.

[V P prep/adv] Nichols set off for his remote farmhouse in Connecticut...

[V P prep/adv] The President's envoy set off on another diplomatic trip...

[V P] I set off, full of optimism.

2) PHRASAL VERB If something sets off something such as an alarm or a bomb, it makes it start working so that, for example, the alarm rings or the bomb explodes.

[V P n (not pron)] Any escape, once it's detected, sets off the alarm...

[V P n (not pron)] Someone set off a fire extinguisher...

[V n P] It could take months before evidence emerges on how the bomb was made, and who set it off.

3) PHRASAL VERB If something sets off an event or a series of events, it causes it to start happening.

[V P n (not pron)] The arrival of the charity van set off a minor riot as villagers scrambled for a share of the aid...

[V P n (not pron)] If he attended a party without his wife, it set off a storm of speculation. [Also V n P]

4) PHRASAL VERB If something sets a person off, it makes them angry, or makes them remember something and they start talking a lot.

[V n P] The smallest thing sets him off, and he can't stop talking about his childhood. [Also V P n (not pron)]

5) PHRASAL VERB If one colour, flavour, or object sets off another, it makes it look more attractive, often by providing a contrast.

[V P n (not pron)] Blue suits you, sets off the colour of your hair.

[V P n (not pron)] ...perfectly proportioned galleries that set off the contents to their best advantage. [Also V n P]

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • set-off — index counterclaim, drawback Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 set off …   Law dictionary

  • Set-off — n. [Set + off.] 1. That which is set off against another thing; an offset. [1913 Webster] I do not contemplate such a heroine as a set off to the many sins imputed to me as committed against woman. D. Jerrold. [1913 Webster] 2. That which is use …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • set off — vt: to reduce or discharge by set off: offset Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. set off …   Law dictionary

  • Set-off — can refer to the following:* Set off (law), the reduction of a claim by deducting the amount of a valid countervailing claim* Set off (architecture), the horizontal line shown on a floorplan indicating a reduced wall thickness, and consequently… …   Wikipedia

  • set–off — / set ˌȯf/ n 1: the reduction or discharge of a debt by setting against it a claim in favor of the debtor; specif: the reduction or discharge of a party s debt or claim by an assertion of another claim arising out of another transaction or cause …   Law dictionary

  • set|off — «SEHT F, OF», noun. 1. a thing used to set off or adorn; ornament; decoration. SYNONYM(S): trimming. 2. something that counterbalances or makes up for something else; compensation; offset. 3. a) …   Useful english dictionary

  • set off — ► set off 1) begin a journey. 2) cause (a bomb or alarm) to go off. 3) serve as decorative embellishment to. Main Entry: ↑set …   English terms dictionary

  • set-off — setˈ off noun 1. A claim set against another 2. A crossclaim which partly offsets the original claim 3. A counterbalance 4. An ornament 5. A contrast, foil 6. A setting forth 7. An offset (architecture and printing) • • • …   Useful english dictionary

  • set-off — the ability to discharge or reduce a debt by applying a counter claim between the same parties. For example, a bank which has lent money to a debtor may attempt to satisfy some or all of the loan by seizing the debtor s deposits at the bank… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • set off — verb 1. put in motion or move to act (Freq. 4) trigger a reaction actuate the circuits • Syn: ↑trip, ↑actuate, ↑trigger, ↑activate, ↑spark off, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • set off — Synonyms and related words: actuate, adjoin, adorn, allocate, allot, analogize, analyze, anatomize, appoint, appropriate to, array, assign, assign to, assimilate, atomize, atone for, backfire, balance, be at cross purposes, be off, be opposed to …   Moby Thesaurus

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