from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To give a flattering description of.
  • intransitive v. To deface or soil the next sheet; -- said of the ink on a freshly printed sheet, when another sheet comes in contact with it before it has had time to dry.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Their recently built house, whatever it might lack as a frame for domesticity, was almost as well-designed for the display of a festal assemblage as one of those airy pleasure-halls which the Italian architects improvised to set off the hospitality of princes.

    The House of Mirth

  • James took his family to set off south, Himself left to meet his guests and ghillies at Crathie to bother the silver swimmers in the Spey, and Jed arrived to pick me up and set my normal life back on course.

    To The Hilt

  • Ah, but then, a fortnight before he was to set off for Minnesota to procure the beet pollen, an outhouse copy of Reader's Digest called his attention to the news that geneticists at Princeton University seemed to be on the verge of discoveries that could more than double human life span.

    La insistencia de Jürgen Fauth

  • By tribal consent, all those who had chosen to set off in the Argo had realigned, so that they constituted a new Family composed of the Bishops, Rooks, and Kings.

    Tides Of Light

  • Raptures, ecstasies, self-annihilations, immediate adhesions and enjoyments, without any act of the understanding, and with a multitude of other swelling words of vanity, they labour to set off what they fancy to be divine love.


  • "My friend," said she to me, "I am immediately going to set off for Geneva; my breast is in a bad state, and my health so deranged that I must go and consult Tronchin."

    The Confessions of J J Rousseau

  • No sooner was my uncle Toby satisfied which road the cannon-ball did not go, but he was insensibly led on, and resolved in his mind to enquire and find out which road the ball did go: For which purpose he was obliged to set off afresh with old Maltus, and studied him devoutly. —

    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

  • Sir Boyvill would leave no stone unturned to be revenged, rightly or wrongly, on the man who had assailed his domestic peace; but Gerard saw Elizabeth, gave what consolation he could, and determined to set off at once to America to seek Osborne, as the only witness who could exculpate Falkner from the charge of murder.

    Mrs Shelley

  • Fonteius was advised to set off overland, accompanied by an Egyptian guard Cleopatra said was necessary; Syria was full of brigands since the various principates had foundered during the Parthian occupation.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • The Fugitive Slave law for recovering runaways was passed in '50, to the rage of the abolitionists; Uncle Tom's Cabin added fuel to the fire; and Crixus wasn't far out when he said that it only needed a spark to the powder-train to set off the explosion.

    Flashman and the angel of the lord


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