English dictionary

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English verb: set off

1. set off (creation) put in motion or move to act

SamplesTrigger a reaction.
Actuate the circuits.

Synonymsactivate, actuate, spark, spark off, touch off, trigger, trigger off, trip

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)initiate, pioneer

Causecome about, fall out, go on, hap, happen, occur, pass, pass off, take place

2. set off (motion) leave

SamplesThe family took off for Florida.

ExamplesThe children set off to the playground

Synonymsdepart, part, set forth, set out, start, start out, take off

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)go away, go forth, leave

Narrower (hyponym)blaze, blaze out, lift off, roar off, sally forth, sally out, take off

3. set off (change) direct attention to, as if by means of contrast

SamplesThis dress accentuates your nice figure!.
I set off these words by brackets.

Synonymsbring out

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)accent, accentuate, emphasise, emphasize, punctuate, stress

Narrower (hyponym)foreground, highlight, pick up, play up, raise, spotlight

4. set off (change) cause to burst with a violent release of energy

SamplesWe exploded the nuclear bomb.

Synonymsblow up, detonate, explode

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)change integrity

Narrower (hyponym)dynamite, fulminate

Causeblow up, detonate, explode

5. set off (stative) make up for

SamplesHis skills offset his opponent's superior strength.

Synonymscancel, offset

Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)balance, equilibrate, equilibrise, equilibrize

Narrower (hyponym)counteract, counterbalance, countervail, neutralize

6. set off (change) set in motion or cause to begin

SamplesThe guide set the tour off to a good start.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)begin, commence, lead off, start

7. set off (communication) provoke or stir up

SamplesIncite a riot.
Set off great unrest among the people.

Synonymsincite, instigate, stir up

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Somebody ----s somebody to INFINITIVE

Broader (hypernym)provoke, stimulate

Narrower (hyponym)raise

Causeact, move

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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