Definition of setback in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɛtbak/


1A reversal or check in progress: a serious setback for the peace process
More example sentences
  • However, it is a fact of life that there is no progress without a few setbacks.
  • Unfortunately, the amount of work that she was being forced to do was a huge setback to their progress.
  • As the process moves forward, there will no doubt be frustrating delays and difficult setbacks.
problem, difficulty, issue, hitch, complication, upset, disappointment, misfortune, mishap, piece of bad luck, unfortunate development, reversal, reverse, reverse of fortune;
blow, body blow, knock;
stumbling block, hindrance, impediment, obstruction;
delay, hold-up, check
informal glitch, hiccup, (double) whammy, kick in the teeth, knock-back, one in the eye
archaic foil
2 Architecture A plain, flat offset in a wall.
Example sentences
  • We do not need windows in walls facing small setbacks to gain light and ventilation.
  • The article described the fashionable exterior skin and angling setbacks.
  • Leave the lip in place because it seems that even a three-course wall looks nicer with the setback.
3North American The distance by which a building or part of a building is set back from the property line: [as modifier]: they had to get permission to overlap the city’s setback lines
More example sentences
  • Remember to provide for a 10-foot setback from property lines and buildings.
  • They should also be knowledgeable about local building codes, including property setbacks and variances.
  • Except for the required setbacks, the building is the same size and shape as the site.

Words that rhyme with setback


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: set|back

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