• Settle


    • enPR: sĕtʹəl, IPA: /ˈsɛtəl/
    • Rhymes: -ɛtəl


    From Old English setl, from *setla-, representing Proto-Indo-European *sed-lo-, from *sed- ("sit"). Cognate with German Sessel, Dutch zetel; and with Greek ἑλλά, Latin sedo, Russian седло, Polish siodło. The verb (Old English setlan) developed from the noun.

    Full definition of settle



    (plural settles)
    1. (archaic) A seat of any kind.
      • Hampoleupon the settle of his majesty
    2. A long bench, often with a high back and arms, with storage space underneath for linen.
    3. (obsolete) A place made lower than the rest; a wide step or platform lower than some other part.
      • Bible, Ezekiel xliii. 14And from the bottom upon the ground, even to the lower settle, shall be two cubits, and the breadth one cubit.


    1. (transitive) To place in a fixed or permanent condition; to make firm, steady, or stable; to establish; to fix; especially, to establish in life; to fix in business, in a home, or the like.
      • And he settled his countenance steadfastly upon him,until he was ashamed. --2 Kings VIII. 11. (Rev. Ver.)
      • 1700, w:Ovid, w, The father thought the time drew on Of settling in the world his only son.
    2. (transitive, obsolete, US) To establish in the pastoral office; to ordain or install as pastor or rector of a church, society, or parish.
      to settle a minister
    3. (transitive) To cause to be no longer in a disturbed condition; to render quiet; to still; to calm; to compose.
    4. (transitive) To clear of dregs and impurities by causing them to sink; to render pure or clear; -- said of a liquid
      to settle coffee, or the grounds of coffee
    5. (transitive) To restore or bring to a smooth, dry, or passable condition; -- said of the ground, of roads, and the like.
      clear weather settles the roads
    6. (transitive) To cause to sink; to lower; to depress; hence, also, to render close or compact.
      to settle the contents of a barrel or bag by shaking it
    7. (transitive) To determine, as something which is exposed to doubt or question; to free from uncertainty or wavering; to make sure, firm, or constant; to establish; to compose; to quiet.
    8. to settle the mind when agitated;  to settle questions of law;  to settle the succession to a throne;  to settle an allowance
    9. (transitive) To adjust, as something in discussion; to make up; to compose; to pacify.
      to settle a quarrel
    10. (transitive, archaic) To adjust, as accounts; to liquidate; to balance.
      to settle an account
    11. (transitive, colloquial) To pay.
      • Abbottto settle a bill
    12. (transitive) To plant with inhabitants; to colonize; to people.
      the French first settled Canada;  the Puritans settled New England;  Plymouth was settled in 1620.
    13. (intransitive) To become fixed or permanent; to become stationary; to establish one's self or itself; to assume a lasting form, condition, direction, or the like, in place of a temporary or changing state.
      • Francis BaconThe wind came about and settled in the west.
      • John ArbuthnotChyle...runs through all the intermediate colors until it settles in an intense red.
    14. (intransitive) To fix one's residence; to establish a dwelling place or home.
      the Saxons who settled in Britain
    15. (intransitive) To enter into the married state, or the state of a householder.
    16. (intransitive) To be established in an employment or profession.
      to settle in the practice of law
    17. (intransitive) To become firm, dry, and hard, as the ground after the effects of rain or frost have disappeared.
      the roads settled late in the spring.
    18. (intransitive) To become clear after being turbid or obscure; to clarify by depositing matter held in suspension.
      • Joseph AddisonA government, on such occasions, is always thick before it settles.
    19. the weather settled;  wine settles by standing
    20. (intransitive) To sink to the bottom; to fall to the bottom, as dregs of a liquid, or the sediment of a reservoir.
    21. (intransitive) To sink gradually to a lower level; to subside, as the foundation of a house, etc.
    22. (intransitive) To become calm; to cease from agitation.
    23. (intransitive) To adjust differences or accounts; to come to an agreement.
      He has settled with his creditors.
    24. (intransitive, obsolete) To make a jointure for a wife.

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