set off

  1. cause to burst with a violent release of energy
    We exploded the nuclear bomb
  2. direct attention to, as if by means of contrast
    I set off these words by brackets
    This dress accentuates your nice figure!
  3. make up for
    His skills offset his opponent's superior strength
  4. leave
    The family took off for Florida
  5. provoke or stir up
    incite a riot
    set off great unrest among the people
  6. set in motion or cause to begin
    The guide set the tour off to a good start
  7. put in motion or move to act
    actuate the circuits
    trigger a reaction
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How To Use set off In A Sentence

  • My poor Lirriper was a handsome figure of a man, with a beaming eye and a voice as mellow as a musical instrument made of honey and steel, but he had ever been a free liver being in the commercial travelling line and travelling what he called a limekiln road — “a dry road, Emma my dear,” my poor Lirriper says to me, “where I have to lay the dust with one drink or another all day long and half the night, and it wears me Emma” — and this led to his running through a good deal and might have run through the turnpike too when that dreadful horse that never would stand still for a single instant set off, but for its being night and the gate shut and consequently took his wheel, my poor Lirriper and the gig smashed to atoms and never spoke afterwards. Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings
  • Men with short back and sides dressed in gleaming white singlets and shorts set off downriver while a little coxswain in a cap urges them on.
  • With a lot of prodding and poking and pushing and cajoling, it set off with a spasmodic jerk.
  • Personnel from HMAS Anzac set off to do a tour of Egypt while the ship is anchored near the entrance to the Suez Canal.
  • The arrival of the charity van set off a minor riot as villagers scrambled for a share of the aid.
  • Mrs Scott went across as a minuscule Great Lady - they should have seen Mrs Van L as she set off this morning! THE QUEST FOR K
  • After years working nine to five in a boring job, he set off to sail round the world.
  • If too comes after the adverb it is probably a disjunct (meaning also) and is usually set off with a comma:
  • She waved me off as I set off into the unknown territory of Park Mountain.
  • It serves one and tastes as good as it looks - the aromatic spices are nicely set off by a lightly spiced tomato sauce. The Sun
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