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set-to

[set-too] /ˈsɛtˌtu/
noun, plural set-tos.
1.
a usually brief, sharp fight or argument.
Origin of set-to
1735-1745
1735-45; noun use of verb phrase set to
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for set-to
Historical Examples
  • There was another photograph representing him with gloves on, about to have a set-to with a boy friend.

    Chester Rand Horatio Alger, Jr
  • Cut in Miss Hawtry at the second set-to of Harriet and aunt.

    Blue-grass and Broadway Maria Thompson Daviess
  • And next day we had a set-to with the gloves, and his verdict was 'Only just short of professional.'

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • But there can be no question about the outcome of such a set-to.

  • He had set-to with a will, half hoping to kill his anxiety by dint of heavy bodily exertion.

    El Dorado Baroness Orczy
  • I've been up town and had a set-to with old Baucum and the rest of them.

    An Arkansas Planter Opie Percival Read
  • Harrison, no ways backward, accepted the challenge, and both prepared for a set-to.

    Wrestling and Wrestlers: Jacob Robinson
  • So saying, she flourished her duster as if about to set-to again.

  • By then the others were near enough to take part in the set-to.

    Motor Matt's Hard Luck Stanley R. Matthews
  • A set-to in the lobby was the consequence, where his lordship quickly proved victorious.

    Rejected Addresses James Smith
Word Origin and History for set-to
n.

"bout, fight," 1743, originally pugilistic slang, from verbal phrase; see set (v.) + to.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for set-to

set-to

noun

A contention; fight; bout: Another venomous set-to among the politicians (1743+ Boxing)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for set-to

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for set

3
3
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