American English

Definition of setting noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a set of surroundings; the place at which something happens a rural/an ideal/a beautiful/an idyllic, etc. setting It was the perfect setting for a wonderful Christmas. People tend to behave differently in different social settings. Thesaurusenvironmentsetting surroundings backgroundThese are all words for the type of place in which someone or something exists or is situated.environment the conditions in a place that affect the behavior and development of someone or something:An unhappy home environment can affect children's behavior. a pleasant working environmentsetting a place or situation of a particular type, in which something happens or exists:The island provided an exotic setting for the concert.surroundings everything that is around or near someone or something:The cabins blend in perfectly with their surroundings.background the things or area behind or around the main objects or people that are in a place or picture:The mountains in the background were capped with snow.Patterns in (a/an) .. environment/setting/surroundings (a/an) new/unfamiliar environment/setting/surroundings somebody/something's immediate environment/surroundings (a) dramatic setting/background
  2. 2the place and time at which the action of a play, novel, etc. takes place short stories with a contemporary setting
  3. 3a position at which the controls on a machine can be set, to set the speed, height, temperature, etc. The performance of the engine was tested at different settings.
  4. 4(music) music written to go with a poem, etc. Schubert's setting of a poem by Goethe
  5. 5a piece of metal in which a precious stone is fixed to form a piece of jewelry a ruby in a heavy gold setting
  6. 6a complete set of equipment for eating with (knife, fork, spoon, glass, etc.) for one person, arranged on a table a place setting
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: setting