set back from

set (someone or something) back from (someone or something else)

To place someone or something at some position or location a distance away from someone or something else. Make sure you set your cups and plates back from the edge of the table, because our toddler is in a phase of grabbing anything and everything she can reach. The teacher set us a good bit back from the performers since they were using pyrotechnics in their show.
See also: back, set, something
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

set something back from (something else)

 and set something back
to place something at some distance from something else. Set the glasses back from the edge or they will get knocked off. You should set back the crystal vase a little. It's too close to the edge.
See also: back, set
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
The vicarage was set back from the highroad to Tercanbury, and from the dining-room one saw a semicircular strip of lawn and then as far as the horizon green fields.
By evening it will have been accomplished; and as the only one I fear in these parts received such a sound set back from Roger de Conde recently I do not think he will venture again to molest me."
The schoolhouse was set back from the road and behind it was a dusky fir wood and a brook where all the children put their bottles of milk in the morning to keep cool and sweet until dinner hour.
It is well set back from the road and has a good-sized, well-maintained garden at the front and back.
With a commanding position at the junction of Valley Drive and Durham Road, in Low Fell, Gateshead, the imposing Stanley Thompson-built property has a corner plot and is set back from the road.
The original elevation was set back from the canal by the depth of a room, a fact that conveniently allowed space for a pair of pagoda-like extensions cradling a garden, adding charm and detail to an otherwise typologically normal Gothic facade from 1355.
To address the concerns, the building was completely redesigned, set back from West Street and its base was heavily reinforced.
A strong shoulder line establishes the upper edge of the tall lower body, and the greenhouse is set back from the front wheels.
The 432-room resort is set back from the three-mile white sand beach, although sweeping views accent nearly every space.
The entire project was set back from its original scheduled opening of October due to a two-month delay in obtaining steel, Richardson says.
Set back from the street, overlooking a small, semi-formal garden, its short north-west end forms its main public face.
"The tower is lifted clear of its historic base, linked on the outside only by columns and glazing, which are set back from the edges of the site.
The house is set back from a dirt road behind a screen of cedar battens, closed at the centre to conceal bathrooms and kitchen, and feathering out to either side.
Contextual zoning corrects the current zoning, which encourages tall towers set back from the Street, a building form inconsistent with the prevailing character of East Harlem.