Definition of settle verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsetl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsetl//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they settle
    BrE BrE//ˈsetl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsetl//
    he / she / it settles
    BrE BrE//ˈsetlz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsetlz//
    past simple settled
    BrE BrE//ˈsetld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsetld//
    past participle settled
    BrE BrE//ˈsetld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsetld//
    -ing form settling
    BrE BrE//ˈsetlɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsetlɪŋ//
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    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 plane. 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 plane.
  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. Wordfindercolonize, discover, explore, pioneer, reconnaissance, scout, settle, terrain, territory, voyage
  7. into comfortable position/state
  8. 5[intransitive, transitive] to make yourself or somebody 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 somebody/something become calm or relaxed The baby wouldn't 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. Word Originverb Old English setlan ‘to seat, place’, from the noun settle.Extra examples After much deliberation, he finally settled on a fur rug. After six months the company finally settled with the unions. Don’t drink it yet. Let the grounds settle. Finally they settled down to watch an old movie. He has now settled permanently in London. He settled back in his chair to watch television. He settled himself more comfortably in his chair. He was anxious and couldn’t settle. Hopes of settling the conflict peacefully are fading. I hoped that the dust would settle quickly and the incident be forgotten. I ran well but still had to settle for second. She felt she wasn’t yet ready to settle down. She kept fussing around, refusing to let him settle. She settled down for a quiet doze on the sofa. Slowly dusk began to settle. The company has agreed to settle out of court. The kids settled happily into their new school. The matter has not yet been finally settled. They prepared to settle in for the night. Unable to settle, she trailed around the house all day. a fertile area that was densely settled in early times All the loose ends should be settled within 48 hours. Bob will be there? That settles it. I’m not coming. Good, that’s settled, then. He had to settle his affairs in Paris before he could return home. I’ll pay now—we can settle up later. I’m delighted that all this has been settled amicably. It’s all settled —we’re leaving on the nine o’clock plane. It’s time you settled your differences with your father. Some snow fell but it didn’t settle. Talks will be held in an attempt to settle the dispute. The union has been urged to settle as quickly as possible. They used the last of the money to settle their debts. This argument must be settled once and for all. This is a matter that can only be settled by a family court. When the dust had settled we saw the piles of rubble.Idioms
    let the dust settle, wait for the dust to settle
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    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
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    to hurt or punish somebody 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 for somethingsettle insettle on somethingsettle something on somebodysettle (down) to something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: settle