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See also: setup and set-up





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

  1. To ready something for use.
    We set up the sprinkler.
  2. Logically order.
    Set up my CD collection.
  3. To cause to happen
    Even a minor change can set up new bugs.
  4. To trap or ensnare.
    I've got to set up that tasty rabbit.
  5. Arrange for an outcome; to tamper or rig.
    The election was set up!
  6. To gel or harden.
    Give the cement 24 hours to set up before walking on it.
  7. To make (someone) proud or conceited (often in passive).
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, pp. 286-7:
      M. Robespierre looked at me sideways and smiled and said to Madame, ‘You're a young lady after my own heart.’ This set her up for the day.
  8. To matchmake; to arrange a date between two people.
  9. (sports, transitive) To create a goalscoring opportunity (for).
    • 2011 October 1, John Sinnott, “Aston Villa 2 - 0 Wigan”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Just past the hour Agbonlahor set up the second, crossing for Bent to net.
  10. (dated, intransitive) To begin business or a scheme of life.
    to set up in trade; to set up for oneself
  11. To profess openly; to make pretensions.
    • Jonathan Swift (Can we date this quote?)
      Those men who set up for mortality without regard to religion, are generally but virtuous in part.
  12. To found; to start (a business, scheme)
    • 2017 April 6, Samira Shackle, “On the frontline with Karachi’s ambulance drivers”, in the Guardian[2]:
      With the help of his wife Bilquis, he set up a maternal health clinic and a centre for abandoned children.


Derived termsEdit



set up (comparative more set up, superlative most set up)

  1. In a position to function; ready.
    Now that I'm set up, this will take moments!



Related termsEdit