See also: Settle

English Edit

Pronunciation Edit

Etymology 1 Edit

From a merger of two verbs:

German siedeln (to settle) is related to the former of the two verbs, but is not an immediate cognate of either of them.

Verb Edit

settle (third-person singular simple present settles, present participle settling, simple past and past participle settled)

  1. To conclude or resolve (something):
    1. (transitive) To determine (something which was exposed to doubt or question); to resolve conclusively; to set or fix (a time, an order of succession, etc).
      His fears were settled
      She hopes to settle and questions about the plans.
      The question of the succession to a throne needs to be settled.
      • 1714 February, [Jonathan Swift], The Publick Spirit of the Whigs: Set forth in Their Generous Encouragement of the Author of the Crisis: [], 3rd edition, London: [] [John Barber] for John Morphew, [], published 1714, →OCLC, page 4:
        It is a Pamphlet, [...] It will ſettle the Wavering, confirm the Doubtful, inſtruct the Ignorant, inflame the Clamorous, though it never be once looked into.
    2. (transitive) To conclude, to cause (a dispute) to finish.
      to settle a quarrel
      1. (transitive) In particular, to terminate (a lawsuit), usually out of court, by agreement of all parties.
    3. (transitive) To close, liquidate or balance (an account) by payment, sometimes of less than is owed or due.
      • 2012, Paul Kelly, Willie Blair: A Tale of True Loss and Sadness, →ISBN:
        The coffee was only surface wet and looked worse than it actually was and as he returned to the Reception Desk to settle his account and give back his room key, he was met again by the young man who was still wearing his rucksack.
    4. (transitive, colloquial) To pay (a bill).
      to settle a bill
    5. (intransitive) To adjust differences or accounts; to come to an agreement on matters in dispute.
      He has settled with his creditors.
    6. (intransitive) To conclude a lawsuit by agreement of the parties rather than a decision of a court.
      • 2010, Clay H. Kaminsky, “The Rome II Regulation: A Comparative Perspective on Federalizing Choice of Law”, in Tulane Law Review, volume 85, number 1, page 79:
        Of course, certainty is a value in all systems of conflict of laws—including those of the United States. Certainty for litigants decreases litigation and transaction costs and increases the chances that cases will settle.
  2. (transitive) To place or arrange in(to) a desired (especially: calm) state, or make final disposition of (something).
    to settle my affairs
    to settle her estate
    1. (transitive) To put into (proper) place; to make sit or lie properly.
      • 2012, Nancy Gideon, Seeker of Shadows, →ISBN:
        She twisted out from under the claim of his palm to settle her feet on the floor.
      • 2002, Tom Deitz, Warautumn, →ISBN, page 53:
        Pausing only to settle his cloak and set his Regent's circlet on his hair, he strode to the rail and waited.
    2. (transitive) To cause to no longer be in a disturbed, confused or stormy; to quiet; to calm (nerves, waters, a boisterous or rebellious child, etc).
    3. (Britain, dialectal) To silence, especially by force.
    4. To kill.
      • 1894-5, Patterson, Man and Nature (in The Primitive Methodist Magazine):
        I poured a charge of powder over the nipple so as not tu miss goin' off if possible. Click! went the match,—up jumped the flock, or tried tu. As they bunched up, Peggy blazed intu 'em, settlin’ how many I didn't know, [...]
    5. (transitive) To bring or restore (ground, roads, etc) to a smooth, dry, or passable condition.
      clear weather settles the roads
  3. (intransitive) To become calm, quiet, or orderly; to stop being agitated.
    • c. 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Winters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iv], page 295, column 1:
      [T]il the fury of his Highneſſe ſettle / Come not before him.
    • 2017 March 14, Stuart James, “Leicester stun Sevilla to reach last eight after Kasper Schmeichel save”, in the Guardian[1]:
      With Vardy working tirelessly up front, chasing lost causes and generally making a nuisance of himself, Sevilla were never allowed to settle on a night when the atmosphere was electric inside the King Power Stadium.
    The weather settled.
    Wait until the crowd settles before speaking.
    1. (intransitive) To become firm, dry, and hard, like the ground after the effects of rain or frost have disappeared.
      The roads settled late in the spring.
  4. To establish or become established in a steady position:
    1. (transitive) To place in(to) a fixed or permanent condition or position or on(to) a permanent basis; to make firm, steady, or stable; to establish or fix.
    2. (transitive) In particular, to establish in life; to fix in business, in a home, etc.
      1. (transitive, US, obsolete) In particular, to establish in pastoral office; to ordain or install as pastor or rector of a church, society, or parish.
        to settle a minister
    3. (transitive, law) To formally, legally secure (an annuity, property, title, etc) on (a person).
    4. (intransitive, obsolete) To make a jointure for a spouse.
    5. (intransitive) To become married, or a householder.
      • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Alma: Or, The Progress of the Mind”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], →OCLC, canto II, page 340:
        As People marry now, and ſettle; / Fierce Love abates his uſual Mettle: [...]
    6. (intransitive, with "in") To be established in a profession or in employment.
      • 1825, William Buell Sprague, An Historical Discourse Delivered at West Springfield:
        He is settled in the profession of law at Rochester, New York.
      • 1994, Arthur MacGregor, Sir Hans Sloane:
        Following his avowed aim to settle in his profession of medicine, Sloane arranged to call on Dr Thomas Sydenham, the foremost physician of his day in London, known as 'the English Hippocrates'.
      • 2016, J. K. Ng’eno, M. C. Chesimet, “Differences in Mathematics Teachers' Perceived Preparedness to Demonstrate Competence in Secondary School Mathematics Content by Teacher Characteristics”, in Journal of Education and Practice, volume 7, number 18:
        The likely explanation for this is the fact that between the two groups one is now settling in the profession while the older group is preparing to retire and are no longer keen to gain new skills.
    7. (intransitive, usually with "down", "in", "on" or another preposition) To become stationary or fixed; to come to rest.
      • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “New Atlantis. A Worke Vnfinished.”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], page 1, →OCLC:
        But then the Wind came about, and ſetled in the West for many dayes, ſo as we could make little or no way, and were ſometimes in purpoſe to turne backe.
      • 1735, John Arbuthnot, An essay concerning the nature of aliments:
        Chyle [...] runs through all the intermediate colors until it settles in an intense red.
      They settled down at an inn.
      The hawk settled on a branch.
  5. (intransitive) To fix one's residence in a place; to establish a dwelling place, home, or colony. (Compare settle down.)
    the Saxons who settled in Britain
    1. (transitive, in particular) To colonize (an area); to migrate to (a land, territory, site, etc).
      the French first settled Canada
      the Puritans settled New England
      Plymouth was settled in 1620.
  6. (transitive) To move (people) to (a land or territory), so as to colonize it; to cause (people) to take residence in (a place).
    • 2001, Eric Nelson, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Roman Empire, →ISBN:
      Rome began to settle displaced or disenfranchised citizens, veterans, and allies in colonies beyond Italy.
  7. To sink, or cause (something, or impurities within it) to sink down, especially so as to become clear or compact.
    1. (transitive) To clear or purify (a liquid) of dregs and impurities by causing them to sink.
      to settle coffee, or the grounds of coffee
    2. (transitive) To cause to sink down or to be deposited (dregs, sediment, etc).
      to settle the sediment out of the water
    3. (transitive) To render compact or solid; to cause to become packed down.
      to settle the chips in the potato chip bag by shaking it
    4. (intransitive) To sink to the bottom of a body of liquid, as dregs of a liquid, or the sediment of a reservoir.
    5. (intransitive) To sink gradually to a lower level; to subside, for example the foundation of a house, etc.
      • 1980, Robert M. Jones, editor, Walls and Ceilings, Time-Life Books, →ISBN, page 38:
        Sometimes a tub will settle at one corner, causing the rim to slope.
    6. (intransitive) To become compact due to sinking.
      The chips in the bag of potato chips settled during shipping.
    7. (intransitive) To become clear due to the sinking of sediment. (Used especially of liquid. also used figuratively.)
      wine settles by standing
  8. (transitive, intransitive) Of an animal: to make or become pregnant.
    • 1926, Farmers' Bulletin, numbers 801-825:
      Some mares do not show signs of being in heat even when tried ("teased") regularly with a stallion, but they often can be settled either by natural or artificial service, provided the approximate time of ovulation is determined and they are not suffering from either a diseased or abnormal condition of the reproductive system.
    • 1928, The Journal of Heredity, volume 19, page 415:
      During March, 1926, two more mares were bred to him and on February 14, 1927 one of them foaled a perfectly formed bay stud foal. It is not known whether or not the other mare settled for she was never returned for trial.
    • 1977, Stud Managers’ Handbook, volume 13, page 153:
      This older mare created many, many problems for us in terms of trying to get the mare to settle. She came to us in January, and her record shows fairly consistent heats, but she had numerous problems which will be outlined in Example l0.
    • 2010, Heather Smith Thomas, Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses, 2nd edition, →ISBN:
      Those sperm may still be viable, enabling the stallion to settle mares for a while until he runs out of mature sperm and has no more coming on because of the gap in production while he was sick or injured.
    • 2012, Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill’s Horsekeeping Almanac, →ISBN:
      However, even a stallion with low volume, poor-quality semen, if properly managed, can adequately settle mares.
    • 2017, Jacob (Jack) Moorman, Living Legend, →ISBN:
      There are several kinds of hormones available that may help your mare to settle properly in case she is difficult to get in foal.
Alternative forms Edit
  • sattle (in several British dialects)
Synonyms Edit
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Antonyms Edit
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Translations Edit
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Etymology 2 Edit

From Middle English settle, setle, setel, setil, seotel, from Old English setl (that upon which one sits, a seat, a settle, a place to sit), from Proto-Germanic *setlaz (a seat; arm-chair), representing Proto-Indo-European *sed-lo-, from *sed- (sit). Cognate with Dutch zetel, German Sessel, Latin sella.

Noun Edit

settle (plural settles)

  1. (archaic) A seat of any kind.
    • c. 1348, Richard Rolle, The Form of Living:
      sit on a settle of joy with angels
    • 1608, Joshua Sylvester, “The Law”, in Du Bartas his divine weekes and workes:
      If hunger drive the Pagans from their dens,
      One, 'gainst a settle breaketh both his shins;
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter X, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume II, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 110:
      "The gloom of those failing embers," exclaimed Francesca, "Has infected us both!" and, rising from the low settle, she lighted the lamp, and flung some smaller wood on the hearth, and a cheerful blaze kindled at once.
    • 1878–1880, John Richard Green, A History of the English People:
      [The] Queen or eorl's wife, with a train of maidens, bore ale-bowl or mead-bowl round the hall, from the high settle of king or ealdorman in the midst to the mead benches ranged around its walls, while the gleeman sang the hero-songs
  2. (now rare) A long bench with a high back and arms, often with chest or storage space underneath.
  3. (obsolete) A place made lower than the rest; a wide step or platform lower than some other part. (Compare a depression.)

Further reading Edit

Anagrams Edit