set to work
Also found in: Acronyms.
set (someone or something) to work
To instruct or cause someone or something to begin working or functioning. Janet set us to work cleaning the house while she went and got groceries. I've set the system to work gathering data on all known suspects in the area.
set (someone or something) to work (on something)
To order, instruct, or schedule someone or program something to undertake a task or begin working on something. I set the students to work on writing their college applications. Our neighbor owns a farm, so we've asked him to set our son to work for the summer. We can set the machine to work on sorting the various packages.
set to work (doing something)
To begin to do something with a specific intention in mind. We set to work creating the most elegant and user-friendly smartphone ever made. He found a mop and set to work cleaning the floors in every room of the house.
set to work (on something)
To undertake a task; to begin working on something. I knew I had to have the report finished by tonight, so I set to work immediately. She set to work on a new design that would reduce emissions from the engine.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
set someone or something to work
to start someone or something working; to cause someone or something to begin functioning. The captain set everyone to work repairing the tears in the fabric of the sails. We will set the machines to work at the regular time.
set to work (on someone or something)
to begin working on someone or something. We have finished questioning Tom, so we will set to work on Fred. We set to work on dinner at noon.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
go/set to ˈwork (on something)(also get (down) to ˈwork (on something)) start working on a particular task: I set to work on the car, giving it a good clean. ♢ I ought to get to work on that report.
put/set somebody to ˈwork (on something)make somebody start work (doing something): On his first day in the office they put him to work on some typing.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017