• Jack set off in search of new adventures
    Jack set off in search of new adventures
  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Set-off (Law) A counterclaim; a cross debt or demand; a distinct claim filed or set up by the defendant against the plaintiff's demand.
    • Set-off (Arch) Same as Offset n., 4.
    • Set-off (Print) See Offset, 7.
    • Set-off That which is set off against another thing; an offset. "I do not contemplate such a heroine as a set-off to the many sins imputed to me as committed against woman."
    • Set-off That which is used to improve the appearance of anything; a decoration; an ornament.
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Producer Paul Maslansky was on the set of The Right Stuff when a bus from the local police academy rolled up. After a bunch of freaks walked off, a sergeant explained that the mayor had forced the department to loosen its acceptance standards. Not too long afterwards, Police Academy hit the theaters.
    • n set-off That which is set off against another thing; an offset.
    • n set-off That which is used to improve the appearance of anything; a decoration; an ornament.
    • n set-off In architecture, a connecting member interposed between a lighter and a more massive structure projecting beyond the former, as between a lower section of a wall or a buttress and a section of less thickness above; also, that part of a wall, or the like, which is exposed horizontally when the part above it is reduced in thickness. Also called offset.
    • n set-off A counter-claim or-demand; a cross-debt; a counterbalancing claim.
    • n set-off In law:
    • n set-off The balancing or countervailing of one debt by another.
    • n set-off The claim of a debtor to have his debt extinguished in whole or in part by the application of a debt due from his creditor, or from one with whom his creditor is in privity. Set-off is that right which exists between two persons each of whom, under an independent contract, owes an ascertained amount to the other, to set off their respective debts, by way of mutual deduction, so that the person to whom the larger debt is due shall recover the residue only after such deduction. (Kerr.) Set-off, counter-claim, and recoupment are terms often used indiscriminately. Counter-claim is more appropriate of any cross-demand on which the claimant might if he chose maintain an independent action, and on which, should he establish it as a cause of action, either in such independent action or by way of counter-claim when sued, he would be entitled to an affirmative judgment in his own favor for payment of the claim except so far as his adversary's claim might reduce or extinguish it. This use of the word distinguishes it from such claims as may be set off in favor of a person, which yet would not sustain an action by him, nor any affirmative judgment in his favor. Recoupment is appropriate only to designate a cross-demand considered as dependent on the concession of plaintiff's demand, subject to a right to cut down the amount recoverable by virtue of it. In these, which are the strict senses of the words, a recoupment only reduces plaintiff's demand, and leaves him to take judgment for what remains after the deduction; a set-off extinguishes the smaller of two independent demands and an equal amount of the larger, but may leave the residue of the latter unenforced; a counter-claim is one that may be established irrespective of the adversary's success or failure in establishing his claim, and, although subject to be reduced or extinguished by the adversary's success, may otherwise be enforced in the same action.
    • n set-off In printing, same as offset, 9. Also setting off.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive, so much so that they will set off an alarm at a nuclear reactor.
    • Set-off a claim set up against another: a counterbalance: an ornament
    • ***


  • Marcus Valerius Martial
    “Rarity gives a charm; so early fruits and winter roses are the most prized; and coyness sets off an extravagant mistress, while the door always open tempts no suitor.”
  • Mal Pancoast
    “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Set, + off,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. settan; cog. with Ger. setzen, Ice. setja, Goth. satjan; settan is the weak causative of sittan, to sit.


In literature:

The old Manito set off, and for mere sport's sake, Grasshopper pursued him.
"The Indian Fairy Book" by Cornelius Mathews
As she intended setting off, she fell sick.
"The Autobiography of Madame Guyon" by Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
Decatur crowded on all sail, and set off in pursuit of the oppressor.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
The weather was beautifully fine, and they set off in high spirits.
"The Settlers in Canada" by Frederick Marryat
From the questions she put to him, Dick thought that she guessed who he was, and deemed it prudent to again set off.
"The Rival Crusoes" by W.H.G. Kingston
Without waiting, therefore, for breakfast, we determined at once to set off.
"A Voyage round the World" by W.H.G. Kingston
Leaving a party to guard the boats, the Adelantado set off on foot with the remainder, sleeping one night on the road.
"Notable Voyagers" by W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
We accordingly all set off with some poles on which to convey the body.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
Don Ferdinando set off for the Vega, eight hundred feet sheer below the mine.
"Adventures in Many Lands" by Various
Just as he was about to set off, a loud roar, not twenty paces off, reached our ears.
"Adventures in Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston

In poetry:

They say as he's gone to heaven,
And shook off all worldly cares;
But I can't sight Bill in a halo
Set up on three blinded hairs.
"My Mate Bill" by Anonymous Oceania
Joe who listed pronouns,
Helen who loved men,
Sebastian who ruined himself,
Arthur who never said anything,
set off for eternity.
"Dawn" by Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Lightly forsaking the Spring mist as it rises,
the wild geese are setting off.
Have they learned to live
in a flowerless country?
"Seeing The Returning Geese" by Ise
It doesn't show varry mich thowt,
When aw'm left wi' all th' haasewark to do,
For fowk to set off an do nowt,
Net soa mich as to blacken a shoe.
"A Quiet Day" by John Hartley
Bring water, nard, and linen rolls!
Wash off all blood, set smooth each limb!
Then say:--"He was not wholly vile,
Because a king shall bury him."
"Stanzas In Memory Of The Author Of 'Obermann'" by Matthew Arnold
Th' foirs aght! an it stops aght for me!
Aw'il bother noa mooar wi' th' old freet!
Next time they set off for a spree,
They'st net leeav me th' foir to leet.
"A Quiet Day" by John Hartley

In news:

We wanted to travel the Vietnamese way, so we set off for Ga Ha Noi , Hanoi 's train station, to get our tickets.
Kylie Minogue Sets Off a "Timebomb" to Celebrate 25 Years In the Business.
Suicide bombers set off blasts at two American luxury hotels in Jakarta , Indonesia, killing eight people.
The suction cup wiggles, the mesh tilts against the screen, and it sets off the area of the screen to correspond with the joystick 's motions.
He sets off a slide here and another one there before the helicopter picks him up on a tight spine.
Chef's light touch sets off explosion of flavors.
The guys used the Free Beer and Hot Wings report today to discuss the Giants-Buccaneers game and the fireworks that the coaches set off after the controversial last play.
When Forrest Griffin tweeted a joke about rape, he set off a firestorm of anger among women and mothers.
A woman accused of setting off a massive manhunt Tuesday appeared in court Thursday in Anchorage.
Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan is good at being bad and setting off opponents.
The arrest of a controversial Dutch cartoonist has set off a wave of protests.
Attorney General Eric Holder was exonerated and his good name restored following a barrage of unsubstantiated attacks set off by the House Oversight Committee.
A common concern among techs is setting off the SVRS while vacuuming.
Experts warned then that a pocket of the virus would someday evolve to infect humans, perhaps setting off a global pandemic.
The longest and oldest aircraft carrier in the US fleet has set off on its final voyage.

In science:

As before, the integrals over the off-diagonal set tend to zero rapidly and can be ignored in both the numerator and denominator.
Number variance of random zeros on complex manifolds, II: smooth statistics
For generic T (i.e. an open dense set of T ’s in any reasonable topology) the spectrum consists of the real line, where the spectrum is absolutely continuous, together with a finite number of simple eigenvalues (corresponding to solitons) off the real axis.
Some open problems in random matrix theory and the theory of integrable systems
Ultra-soft pseudo-potentials have been used, with a PW basis set with a kinetic energy cut-off of 30 Ry for the wavefunctions and 180 Ry for the charge density.
Turbo charging time-dependent density-functional theory with Lanczos chains
The set Vλ (respectively Uλ ) is given by the disjoint union of sets Vi,p (respectively Ui,p ), where the family of indices (i, p) can be read off from a special diagram introduced by Weyman; see [W1, Example (4.5)].
The defining ideals of conjugacy classes of nilpotent matrices and a conjecture of Weyman
The complete dephasing channel D is the channel that sets to zero all of the off-diagonal elements of a density matrix.
Additivity and Distinguishability of Random Unitary Channels