set the table

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set the table

to place plates, glasses, napkins, etc., on the table before a meal. (The opposite of clear the table.) Jane, would you please set the table? Fm tired of setting the table. Ask someone else to do it.
See also: set, table

set the table

to put dishes, knives, forks, and spoons on a table before a meal You make the salad and I'll set the table.
See also: set, table

set the table

Also, lay the table. Arrange a cloth, plates, glasses, silverware and the like for a meal, as in Please set the table for eight tonight. [Late 1300s]
See also: set, table
References in periodicals archive ?
Just before noon he had gone to have a shower and his wife had gone to lay the table.
Why do I insist on cooking when at any normal dinner party my wife wouldn't even trust me to lay the table, let alone prepare the food?
When people arrived I'd have lots of amuse bouche, then I'd lay the table with lots of different dishes including grilled monkfish.
Ask them to lay the table and give them a job afterwards, like putting their plates to wash by the sink.
celebrity is absurd in so many ways" Actor Dominic West "I used to make him lay the table too until I realised one day, once all the guests were already seated, that the reason I didn't recognise the tablecloth was because he'd laid all the places on top of a checked duvet cover" Sarah Brown on her husband the Prime Minister "I have any number of paunchy, male greying friends in their mid-forties who have played the field for so long that they fail to notice that they are on the clearance shelf" Rowan Pelling, co-founder of The Erotic Review "As a Freeman of the City of London, I am entitled to stroll about the place with my sword unsheathed.
Olde Times indeed, as the archaeologist Peter Ginn and historian Ruth Goodman (above) lay the table for Christmas Day 1944.
LAURA EMBLETON: My five-year-old son was helping us get ready for our Sunday toast and we asked him if he could lay the table.
Billy arrived early for the breakfast and Nat told him he could help lay the table while they waited for Hugo Hare, since the breakfast was not ready yet.
I had chosen to accept my mission, which was to let myself into the house, lay the table, plate the starter, put the main course - thoughtfully prepared for bullet proof assembly - in the oven, light the candles, decorate the dessert and leave the champagne on ice.
LAY the table, light the fire, all stand for trumpet blast,
One week we will be 'paying the Victorian wages', and on another learning to lay the table and fold napkins and on another making Victorian cards.
If you've got a surplus of cooks then one can concentrate on getting the broth at the perfect temperature, one can work on concocting a tasty seasoning to sprinkle on the broth, another can prepare a selection of suitable dips for the broth, one can fashion some side orders and nibbles to complement the broth, one can lay the table and set the napkins ahead of the broth being served, and one can do the washing up after the broth has been eaten.
Valley Design says there is no longer a need to lay the table on its back and fold the legs--no more bending, kneeling and stooping with Nester.
The most common chore for children to do is lay the table, with a third of youngsters regularly asked to get the cutlery and place mats out - but this is the chore children are least likely to be paid for, with 80 per cent of parents offering nothing in return.