One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Start doing something with vigor or determination.‘it would be far better to admit the problem openly and set about tackling it’
begin, start, make a start on, go about, set to, get to work on, get down to, get going on, embark on, tackle, attack, address oneself to, buckle down to, undertakeView synonyms
- ‘I am relieved to see that our government has set about dealing with this problem.’
- ‘So what he does is identify a specific problem in the workplace and sets about resolving it.’
- ‘After breakfast he sets about cleaning his truck till it gleams and drives off to work at a stone quarry.’
- ‘I arrived in Scotland today and set about exploring the ruins of Tantallon Castle.’
- ‘In the millennium year the club set about an ambitious task of upgrading their facilities.’
- ‘She set about getting rid of the dresses and her hick accent and her love of cowboy songs.’
- ‘She then sets about building the nest laying her eggs as the work proceeds.’
- ‘But this team has shown over the year to be up to the challenge and set about the task of closing the gap.’
- ‘They set about finding out what their peers were eating and the results don't make for good news.’
- ‘Car companies, big and small, embraced the new category and set about creating cars for it.’
2British informal Attack (someone).
attack, assail, assault, hit, strike, beat, give someone a beating, thrash, pound, pummel, wallop, hammer, tear into, set upon, fall on, turn on, let fly atView synonyms
- ‘He claimed the cabbie had assaulted him, setting about him with a wheel brace and then trying to run him over.’
- ‘You cheer when he manages to gain respect by setting about tormentors with a fistful of batteries.’
- ‘As he tried to recover it, the other side's players thought she was being assaulted and set about him.’
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