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dead set against

Completely opposed to, as in His parents were dead set against John's taking a year off from college. Set against has been used to mean “opposed to” since the 1400s. Dead acquired the meaning “utterly” in the 16th century.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for dead set against
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It just seemed as if managers were dead set against having a man and wife in the same company.

    My Actor-Husband Anonymous
  • They are dead set against England, and claim to belong to France.

    Ben Comee M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
  • The experience of 1836 will teach them not to make a dead set against doing business, or granting supplies, etc.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • Never had the Swiss been so dead set against their foes; and "as cruel as at Morat" was for a long while a common expression.

    A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
  • He will not if he can help it, for he is dead set against the young lady they want to marry him to, and she is to be there.

    Love and Life Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Nobody refused, not even General Dow, who is so dead set against foraging.

    Diary of an Enlisted Man Lawrence Van Alstyne
  • I had always been dead set against taking a companion permanently into my home.

    The House of the Misty Star Fannie Caldwell Macaulay
  • Maud made a dead set against my going to Countess Resse's where a number of ladies had been invited to meet me.

    Julia Ward Howe Laura E. Richards

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