April 18, 2019
Learner's Word of the Day
set up /ˈsɛt ˈʌp/ phrasal verb
set up
/ˈsɛt ˈʌp/
phrasal verb

sets up; set up; setting up

Photographer setting up for a photo shoot
Photographer setting up for a photo shoot
Learner's definition of SET UP

1 : to prepare for something by putting things where they need to be

  • We have one hour left to set up for the party.

  • We had better start setting up.

2 set up (something) or set (something) up a : to create or establish (something) for a particular purpose

  • A panel needs to be set up to investigate the issue.

  • She hopes that in a few years she can set up a private practice of her own.

  • A foundation was set up for people with the disease.

  • The church set up a school for the city's homeless children.

  • The hikers set up camp [=they prepared an area where they could sleep outside] just before sunset.

2 set up (something) or set (something) up b : to arrange and plan (an event or activity)

  • I'll ask my secretary to set up a meeting with our clients.

  • Let's set up a time to get together.

  • He was the one who set up the bank robbery.

2 set up (something) or set (something) up c : to put (something) in an upright position

  • They set up flags along the street for the parade.

  • Help me set the tent up.

2 set up (something) or set (something) up d : to make (a machine, system, etc.) ready to be used

  • They set up the movie camera next to the door.

  • This computer wasn't set up to run so many programs at one time.

3 set (someone) up or set up (someone) a : to cause (someone) to be in a bad situation or to appear guilty

  • Those aren't his drugs. Someone must have set him up! [=framed him; made it look like the drugs were his]

  • He claimed he was set up by the police.

3 set (someone) up or set up (someone) b British : to help (someone) feel healthy and full of energy

  • She says that daily exercise has set her up to face the challenges of getting old.

3 set (someone) up or set up (someone) c : to give (someone) a job, a place to live, etc.

  • She set me up in a great apartment in the city.

  • He set his son up with a job at his company.

3 set (someone) up or set up (someone) d : to do something that makes it likely or possible for (someone) to do, get, or experience something

  • The team's excellent defense set them up to score the winning touchdown.

— usually + for

  • I think you're just setting yourself up for a big disappointment. [=you're expecting something that won't happen and you will be disappointed when it doesn't]

3 set (someone) up or set up (someone) e : to cause (someone) to meet someone in order to start a romantic relationship

  • “How did you first meet your husband?” “My best friend set us up.”

— often + with

  • She wants to set him up with her sister.

4 set (yourself) up as (something) a : to try to make people believe that you are (something)

  • She has set herself up as the best alternative to the current administration.

  • He sets himself up as a defender of the people, but he's really only interested in getting more power.

4 set (yourself) up as (something) b : also set up as (something) or set up in (something) : to start your own business

  • She set (herself) up as a wedding planner. [=she began working as a wedding planner]

  • He set up in business after finishing college.

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