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set the scene (third-person singular simple present sets the scene, present participle setting the scene, simple past and past participle set the scene)

  1. To prepare for something by providing a background, a description, etc.
    • 2004, Paul Skrebels, ‎Sieta van der Hoeven, For All Time?: Critical Issues in Teaching Shakespeare (page 43)
      For example, in teaching the banquet scene in Macbeth, I set the scene by setting up several banquet tables
    • 2010, David Strang, Learning by Example: Imitation and Innovation at a Global Bank
      This chapter has also set the scene by reviewing the operational structure of benchmarking, as well as outlining the research materials central to this study.