set against

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set (one) against (someone or something)

To cause one to oppose, dislike, or fight against someone or something. Can't you see that he's trying to set us against each other? The new manager started spreading rumors in the hope of setting the employees against the new policy.
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set (something) against (something)

1. To create a background or context for something. The author set the story of the two brothers against the trauma of the First World War. The painting sets the little girl against an ominous background of black, violent clouds.
2. To juxtapose or create a contrast between two things. When you set the classic horror film against today's gore-soaked genre flicks, it seems positively tame by comparison. The two-bedroom duplex felt enormous when you set it against the tiny apartments most people occupy within the city.
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set something against someone or something

1. to place or lean something against someone or something. Dave set the chair against Fred and had to move it away. I set the rake against the side of the house.
2. to make someone hate or oppose someone or something. His second wife set him against his former in-laws. The Civil War set brother against brother.
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set against

Be or cause someone to be opposed to, as in Civil wars often set brother against brother, or The police chief's critics were set against his officers. [Late 1200s] Also see dead set against.
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set against

1. To place something so that it is touching something on the side: I set my golf clubs against the car and opened the trunk.
2. To place something against some background: The author has set the love story against the backdrop of war. In the picture, the old church is set against the large, glass skyscrapers.
3. To place something in contrast to something else: The price seems like a bargain when you set it against real estate prices in larger cities.
4. To incite someone to oppose or resist someone or something: The civil war set families against one another. The bosses are set against the proposal, so I doubt it will go through.
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set against

Strongly opposed to: We are dead set against the idea.
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References in periodicals archive ?
When set against a backdrop of Waitrose and Superdrug, it is hoped that people will return to breathe life into this notorious superstructure, not only to shop in Oasis, but also to dwell in one; relaxing, working, living and of course shopping.
95), Hard Times For Jake Smith is a novel set against the background of the 1930's "Great Depression".
Children were left feeling not believed, children were set against children and some suffered greatly;
Actors appear wearing West Coast First Nations ceremonial masks set against abstract woodland scenes, with bird calls and natural sounds heard in the background.
CECOM and the folks at Ft Huachuca that have to fix the shelters are dead set against storing or transporting anything on top of the shelters.
All this set against the background of New York City.
There's something almost sensual about a beautiful serif typeface set against a white background.
In this last piece, organic white material (painted wood) is set against inert dark material (bronze), with no guarantee that the two will interact to produce spiritual electricity, however many sacred crosses preside over their union.
Set against Manhattan Tap's dancers and choreography, the result was often puzzling rather than pleasant.
The instrumentality of the love-object in the first text, and the tendency towards identity of the two friends in the second, are both set against a philosophical tradition (or traditions) inquiring after the nature of the highest love.
A propos of this, Disciplines of Virtue has an attractive dustjacket: an elegantly profiled portrait of a young girl set against a background of fleshy, corset-coloured pink.
Federer is a different animal in Grand Slams and Murray will do well to win a set against the favourite, let alone two.
This is also an intriguing story set against a history of the frontier West, Mexican-American tensions, early railroading, and the place of women on the frontier.
But Murray came alive after taking the second of his first two break points as a lever to win the third set against Ram.