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Meaning of SET OFF

Pronunciation:  set of

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [v]  cause to explode; "We exploded the nuclear bomb"
  2. [v]  set in motion or cause to begin; "The guide set the tour off to a good start"
  3. [v]  direct attention to, as if by means of contrast; "This dress accentuates your nice figure!"; "I set off these words by brackets"
  4. [v]  provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; "set off great unrest among the people"
  5. [v]  put in motion or move to act; "trigger a reaction"; "actuate the circuits"
  6. [v]  leave; "The family took off for Florida"
  7. [v]  make up for; "His skills offset his opponent's superior strength"
 Synonyms: activate, actuate, blow up, bring out, cancel, depart, detonate, explode, incite, instigate, offset, part, set forth, set out, spark, spark off, start, start out, stir up, take off, touch off, trigger, trigger off, trip
 See Also: accent, accentuate, act, balance, begin, blaze, blaze out, burst, change integrity, come about, commence, counteract, counterbalance, countervail, dispense with, dynamite, emphasise, emphasize, equilibrate, equilibrise, equilibrize, foreground, fulminate, give up, go away, go forth, go on, hap, happen, highlight, initiate, lead off, leave, lift off, move, neutralize, occur, part with, pass, pass off, pick up, pioneer, play up, provoke, punctuate, raise, raise, roar off, sally forth, sally out, spare, spotlight, start, stimulate, stress, take place



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\Set"-off`\, n. [Set + off.]
1. That which is set off against another thing; an offset.

         I do not contemplate such a heroine as a set-off to
         the many sins imputed to me as committed against
         woman.                                --D. Jerrold.

2. That which is used to improve the appearance of anything;
   a decoration; an ornament.

3. (Law) A counterclaim; a cross debt or demand; a distinct
   claim filed or set up by the defendant against the
   plaintiff's demand.

Note: Set-off differs from recoupment, as the latter
      generally grows out of the same matter or contract with
      the plaintiff's claim, while the former grows out of
      distinct matter, and does not of itself deny the
      justice of the plaintiff's demand. Offset is sometimes
      improperly used for the legal term set-off. See

4. (Arch.) Same as {Offset}, n., 4.

5. (Print.) See {Offset}, 7.

Syn: {Set-off}, {Offset}.

Usage: Offset originally denoted that which branches off or
       projects, as a shoot from a tree, but the term has
       long been used in America in the sense of set-off.
       This use is beginning to obtain in England; though
       Macaulay uses set-off, and so, perhaps, do a majority
       of English writers.