set someone back

set (someone or something) back

1. To cost someone a specific amount of money. Getting the car fixed is going to set me back nearly a grand. It's estimated the failed product set the company back roughly $2 million. Wow, how much did those shoes set you back?
2. To delay someone for a specific amount of time. That computer virus wiped out our data and set us back nearly a month in our work. He was supposed to arrive by 9, but the traffic jam set him back about an hour.
3. To delay or hinder something. A series of conflicts within the administration has set healthcare reform back yet again.
4. To cause someone or something to be positioned some distance behind or away (from someone or something else). We made sure to set the audience back from the main stage by 10 feet or so to prevent anyone from trying to clamber on during the performance. You'll want to set this statue back a bit, or it will block your view of the courtyard.
5. To position something within a recessed area (of something). The bus stop bench was set back in the wall along the sidewalk so that it wouldn't get in the way of pedestrians.
See also: back, set
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

set someone back

tv. to cost someone. This bracelet set me back plenty.
See also: back, set, someone
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In today's market, property experts say Del Boy's Peckham flat would set someone back a not-so lovely jubbly [euro]995,000..
Pet owners may face expensive vet bills Meanwhile, a rabbit will set someone back around PS1,802, the survey found.
Costs start at around pounds 250 for basic treatments such as collagen lip enhancements or botox, but more radical cosmetic surgery such as a facelift can set someone back more than pounds 5000.
'For instance, an air ambulance could set someone back pounds 100,000 or a simple sunstroke can cost up to pounds 8,000 in medical bills.
The company's garage door skin is fitted for pounds 299 - around a quarter of the cost of an equivalent new garage door which would set someone back around pounds 1,200.
It states that although costs start at around pounds 250 for basic treatments such as collagen lip enhancements or botox, more radical cosmetic surgery such as a facelift or tummy tuck can set someone back more than pounds 5,000.