American English

Definition of settle verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they settle
    he / she / it settles
    past simple settled
    -ing form settling
    jump to other results
    end argument
  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] settle (something) to put an end to an argument or a disagreement to settle a dispute/an argument/a matter It's time you settled your differences with your father. I want this thing settled. There is pressure on the unions to settle. The company has agreed to settle out of court (= come to an agreement without going to court).
  2. decide/arrange
  3. 2[transitive, often passive] to decide or arrange something finally settle something It's all settled—we're leaving on the nine o'clock flight. Good, that's settled, then. Bob will be there?That settles it. I'm not coming. He had to settle his affairs (= arrange all his personal business) in Paris before he could return home. it is settled that… It's been settled that we leave on the nine o'clock flight.
  4. choose permanent home
  5. 3[intransitive] + adv./prep. to make a place your permanent home She settled in Vienna after her father's death.
  6. 4[transitive, usually passive, intransitive] settle something + adv./prep. (of a group of people) to make your permanent home in a country or an area as colonists This region was settled by the Dutch in the nineteenth century.
  7. into comfortable position/state
  8. 5[intransitive, transitive] to make yourself or someone else comfortable in a new position settle (back) (+ adv./prep.) Ellie settled back in her seat. settle somebody/yourself (+ adv./prep.) He settled himself comfortably in his usual chair. I settled her on the sofa and put a blanket over her.
  9. 6[transitive] settle something + adv./prep. to put something carefully in a position so that it does not move She settled the blanket around her knees.
  10. 7[intransitive, transitive] to become or make someone or something become calm or relaxed I'm waiting for my nerves to settle. settle somebody/something I took a pill to help settle my nerves. This should settle your stomach.
  11. come to rest
  12. 8[intransitive] settle (on/over something) to fall from above and come to rest on something; to stay for some time on something Dust had settled on everything. Two birds settled on the fence. I don't think the snow will settle (= remain on the ground without melting). His gaze settled on her face.
  13. sink down
  14. 9[intransitive, transitive] settle (something) to sink slowly down; to make something do this The contents of the package may have settled in transit.
  15. pay money
  16. 10[transitive, intransitive] to pay the money that you owe settle something Please settle your bill before leaving the hotel. The insurance company is refusing to settle her claim. settle (up) (with somebody) Let me settle with you for the meal. I'll pay now—we can settle up later.
  17. Idioms
    let the dust settle, wait for the dust to settle
    jump to other results
    to wait for a situation to become clear or certain He waited for the dust to settle after the election before making any new decisions.
    settle a score/an account (with somebody), settle an old score
    jump to other results
    to hurt or punish someone who has harmed or cheated you in the past “Who would do such a thing?” “Maybe someone with an old score to settle.”
    Phrasal Verbssettle downsettle downsettle down to somethingsettle for somethingsettle insettle on somethingsettle something on somebodysettle to something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: settle