set out to (do something)
set out to (do something)
To begin to undertake a task; to attempt or intend to do something. Framed for murder and wanted by police, the lone detective set out to clear her name. We set out to create the most elegant and user-friendly smartphone ever made, and I think we did it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
set something out (for someone or something)
to remove something and place it so that it is available for someone or some purpose. I set a piece of cake out for you to eat whenever you get home. Liz set out some cake for Karen.
set out (on something)
to begin a journey; to begin a project. We set out on our trip exactly as planned. We set out at noon.
(for some place) (from some place) to leave from some place on a journey for some place. We set out for home from the cabin on the very next morning. We set out from the cabin at dawn.
set out to do something
to begin to do something; to intend to do something. Jill set out to weed the garden, but pulled up a few valuable plants in the process. I set out to repair the door, not rebuild the whole porch.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Begin an earnest attempt, as in He set out to prove his point, or We accomplished what we set out to do. [Late 1800s]
2. Lay out systematically, as in She set out all the reports in chronological order. [Second half of 1500s]
3. Display for exhibition or sale, as in The Japanese restaurant set out samples of all the different kinds of sushi. [c. 1300]
4. Plant, as in It was time to set out the seedlings. [Early 1800s]
5. Begin a journey, as in They set out at dawn. [Late 1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To start a journey: She set out at dawn for town.
2. To begin an earnest attempt to do something; undertake something: Four years ago, we set out to reform the government, and since then, we have accomplished much.
3. To make something explicit, especially an idea or plan: In her speech, she set out a plan for her second term in office. He set his ideas out in a detailed report.
4. To display something for exhibition or sale: The vendor set out a large display of fruit and vegetables. The children set a pumpkin out for Halloween.
5. To plant something: They set out seeds last year, and now the field is full of flowers. We should set some tulip bulbs out this fall.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.