set someone up for something

set (someone or oneself) up for (something)

1. To alter the conditions of someone's or one's own situation so a particular outcome is all but guaranteed. I just think you should manage your expectations about how the party will turn out, or you'll end up setting yourself up for disappointment. With the way they slashed our budget and pushed our deadline forward, the company was setting us up for failure from the word go.
2. To provide someone or oneself with the financial means to do or acquire something. My father-in-law gave me enough money to set me up for the down payment on a business loan. I've been stashing money away very frugally over the last twenty years to set myself up for an early retirement.
3. To provide one with enough money or resources or with a suitable source of income to live comfortably for the rest of one's life. Most people assume that winning the lottery will set them up for life, but you really need to manage your money carefully to make it last. She's looking to set herself up for life with a cushy tenured position.
4. To provide one with adequate nourishment for some activity or period of time. The B&B provides a generous breakfast that will set you up for the rest of the day. I've made a good, hearty meal that will set you up for your hike later.
See also: for, set, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

set someone up (for something)

tv. to set the scene for something to happen to someone. His buddies set him up for the gag—which ended up injuring two of them severely. Who set me up for this anyway?
See also: for, set, someone, something, up
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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