Definition of set noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  1. 1  [countable] set (of something) a group of similar things that belong together in some way a set of six chairs a complete set of her novels a set of false teeth a new set of rules to learn You can borrow my keys—I have a spare set. see also box set, tea set
  2. 2  [countable] a group of objects used together, for example for playing a game a chess set see also chemistry set
  3. 3[countable + singular or plural verb] (sometimes disapproving) a group of people who have similar interests and spend a lot of time together socially the smart set (= rich, fashionable people) Dublin’s literary set see also jet set See related entries: Friends
  4. TV/radio
  5. 4[countable] a piece of equipment for receiving television or radio signals See related entries: Radio technology
  6. for play/movie
  7. 5[countable] the scenery used for a play, film/movie, etc. We need volunteers to help build and paint the set. See related entries: In the theatre, Film-making equipment, Producing TV shows, Making films
  8. 6[countable, uncountable] a place where a play is performed or part of a film/movie is filmed The cast must all be on (the) set by 7 in the morning. See related entries: Film-making equipment, Making films
  9. in sport
  10. 7[countable] one section of a match in games such as tennis or volleyball She won in straight sets (= without losing a set). See related entries: Tennis
  11. mathematics
  12. 8 [countable] a group of things that have a shared quality set theory See related entries: Mathematical terminology
  13. pop music
  14. 9[countable] a series of songs or pieces of music that a musician or group performs at a concert a stunning solo set of ten songs See related entries: Live music
  15. class
  16. 10[countable] (British English) a group of school students with a similar ability in a particular subject She's in the top set for French.
  17. of face/body
  18. 11[singular] set of something the way in which somebody’s face or body is fixed in a particular expression, especially one showing determination She admired the firm set of his jaw.
  19. hair
  20. 12[singular] an act of arranging hair in a particular style while it is wet A shampoo and set costs £15.
  21. becoming firm
  22. 13[singular] the state of becoming firm or solid To be sure of a good set when making the jam, use preserving sugar with added pectin.
  23. animal’s home
  24. 14[countable] = sett
  25. plant
  26. 15[countable] a young plant, shoot etc. for planting onion sets
  27. Word Originnoun late Middle English: partly from Old French sette, from Latin secta ‘sect’, partly from the verb set. Wordfindercomedy, denouement, dialogue, drama, dramatic irony, play, scene, set, soliloquy, speech Wordfinderbackdrop, costume, curtain, footlights, prop, proscenium, scenery, set, stage, the wingsExtra examples A grammatical choice is drawn from a closed set of options. All the cast are on the set throughout. Nadal won in straight sets= his opponent won none. Off set, the two actors became close friends. Rusedski won in straight sets. She had a complete set of these dining-room chairs but it was broken up after she died. She had two break points to level the set. She won a silver medal in the long jump to complete her set. The crew had a lot of fun on set. The locations and set designs were fabulous. The plate is part of a set. The series is available in a three-DVD box set. There are ten pictures in the set. These two species share a common set of characteristics. This job requires a completely different skill set. We have a finite set of options. a computer’s instruction set a necklace with a matching set of earrings a set of accounts/​books/​clothes/​keys/​valves a set of beliefs/​circumstances/​factors/​guidelines a set of beliefs/​ideas/​standards/​values a set of circumstances/​challenges/​issues/​problems/​questions a set of clothes/​doors/​keys/​stairs/​tools a set of conditions/​guidelines/​instructions/​principles/​rules a set of data/​facts/​figures/​numbers/​results He’s 3–1 up in the third set. I got myself a new set of saucepans and other kitchen equipment. It’s a favourite meeting place for Berlin’s smart set. It’s known as a playground for Scotland’s rich hunting and fishing set. Several members of Dublin’s literary set turned up for her funeral. She had a complete set of the author’s novels. She is in the top set for French. The final went to five sets. There was always a new set of verbs to learn. a set of six matching chairs.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: set