There are 2 main definitions of set off in English:

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set off 1

Begin a journey: they set off together in the small car
More example sentences
  • Drivers are being advised to check road conditions with the Highways Agency before setting off on journeys.
  • The notion that one can set off on a journey and arrive at the promised time is regarded as a joke.
  • About half an hour after setting off a blizzard descended, I couldn't see five yards in front of me.
set out, start out, set forth, sally forth, begin one's journey, leave, depart, embark, set sail
informal hit the road
archaic set forward
See parent entry: set
Definition of set off in:
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There are 2 main definitions of set off in English:

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set-off 2 Line breaks: set-off
Pronunciation: /ˈsɛtɒf/


1An item or amount that is or may be set off against another in the settlement of accounts.
Example sentences
  • Yesterday, he gave a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, in which he said he was ‘open’ to across-the-board budget cuts, and also endorsed finding set-offs to balance hurricane relief spending.
  • Depending upon the circumstances, they could constitute counterbalancing set-offs of credit and debit amounts.
1.1 Law A counterbalancing debt pleaded by the defendant in an action to recover money due.
Example sentences
  • If that is right, then the defendants are entitled to rely on their counterclaim as a set-off.
  • Therefore, I find that the defendants have not proven any amount by way of a set-off or counterclaim.
  • A bond is treated as the equivalent of a bill of exchange or a letter of credit, so that it follows that normally a set-off or counterclaim will not be enough to prevent judgment being given.
1.2 dated A counterbalancing or compensating circumstance or condition: as a set-off against such discussions there had come an improvement in their pecuniary position
2A step or shoulder at which the thickness of part of a building or machine is reduced.
3 [mass noun] Printing The unwanted transference of ink from one printed sheet or page to another before it has set.
Definition of set off in:
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