(third-person singular simple present sets off, present participle setting off, simple past and past participle set off)
- (idiomatic, intransitive) To leave; to begin a journey or trip.
- He set off in search of better opportunities.
- (idiomatic) To begin; to cause; to initiate.
- I had no idea that one simple comment would set off such a huge argument.
- (idiomatic) To cause to explode.
- What a tragedy, that someone would set off a bomb in a crowded place.
- (idiomatic) To make angry.
- Don't set him off or he won't shut up all day.
- (idiomatic) To offset, to compensate for: to reduce the effect of, by having a contrary effect.
- My taxes did not increase because the amount of my raise was set off by my losses in the stock market.
- In the legal sense, set-off differs from recoupment: the latter generally grows out of the same matter or contract with the plaintiff's claim, while the former grows out of distinct matter, and does not of itself deny the justice of the plaintiff's demand.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.