to set back

Idiom Definition 1

Idiom Definition - set back

"to set back"

to cost someone some amount of money


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Idiom Definition 2

Idiom Definition - set back

"to set back"

to slow down the progress of


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Idiom Definition 3

Idiom Definition - set back

"to set back"

to adjust some instrument or device to an earlier reading


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Idiom Definition 4

Idiom Definition - set back

"to set back"

to construct something so that it is a certain distance away from the edge of some boundary (always used in the passive form)


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Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - set back

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I see the company replaced all the employee's laptop computers. I wonder how much that set them back.

Colleague 2:  Buying in bulk like that would have provided some savings but I heard that the cost was six hundred dollars per laptop.

Colleague 1:  At that price, they must be nice machines.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - set back

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I just heard from our contact in the government that there is going to be a change in the regulations governing the sale of the new gadget we are working on.

Colleague 2:  And will that cause delays in bringing the product to market?

Colleague 1:  It looks like it will set us back a couple of weeks at least.

Idiom Scenario 3

Idiom Definition - set back

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  I am going to bed now. Are you coming?

Husband:  No, not right now. I want to read a little more.

Wife:  Please be sure to set back the thermostat before you come to bed.

Husband:  Of course. I will turn the heat down to fifteen degrees.

Wife:  Thank you. You know it will save us money.

Idiom Scenario 4

Idiom Definition - set back

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I heard you bought a new house in a fancy upscale community?

Friend 2:  I did and it is really nice.

Friend 1:  What would you say is one of its best features?

Friend 2:  I really like how the house is set back from the street. The front yard is massive and there is almost no traffic noise in the house.

to set back - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   2,277   click for frequency by country

to set back - Gerund Form:

Setting him back around two hundred dollars, the cellphone was well worth it.

Setting back the project by a week, the major winter storm could not be foreseen.

Setting back the thermostat at night can save a lot of money.

to set back - Examples:

1)  ... had been working with prospective stage towns on the 2017 edition, but were set back when the event was not included on this year's WorldTour roster.

2)  The house is set back on an an expansive lawn.

3)  ... which is known for its intense, macho culture. It is also likely to set back the cause of those striving for more diversity in Silicon Valley's workforce.

4)  ... you can be assured that you will not face any financial set back.

5)  It's work-in-progress. It can not be rushed but it must not be set back. We must learn from our mistakes to move on; ...

6)  ... saying that lack of synergy in the sector was responsible for the set back in the nation's economy and growth.

7)  ... gated community, those tree-lined suburban streets, the driveways that meander, the house set back from the road hidden by landscaped forest.

8)  The tidal stairs would be set back into the waterfront to create a semi-enclosed harbour space reducing exposure to waves and ...

9)  Even a minor injury, such as a twisted ligament, can set back your progress towards fitness, and it can be disheartening. 

10)  They need to be careful not to endorse measures that would set back human rights protections, such as earlier draft counter-terrorism bills to replace the ...

11)  With the additional tracking camera, the new controllers will set you back an additional $199, ...

12)  A cruise for seven days will set you back about R33 000, depending on the facilities and the luxuries of the ...

13)  ... shall be set back from all occupied structures a minimum distance equal to the pipeline impact radius.

14)  Hiring out of The Domain, meanwhile, set back organisers of a two-week event $700,000.

15)  If it also produces hot water, set back the demand temperature to about 45 degrees or turn it off to observe the ...

16)  The set back due to lower replacement sales in North America, along with flat sales in ...

17)  Recoveries in the sector since then have been set back by new crises.

18)  It seems like the country is really being set back right now. We're not moving forward, we're moving backwards, ...

19)  ... a treasure trove of military paraphernalia lovingly collected for more than two decades that has set back the 35-year-old teacher some $80,000.

20)  Since 1947, this symbol of global catastrophe has been set back and forwards 22 times. It was furthest from midnight (17 minutes) ...