set to work

Also found in: Legal, 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.
See also: set, work

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.
See also: set, work

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.
See also: set, work

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.
See also: set, work

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.
See also: set, work

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.
See also: set, work

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.
See also: set, work

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.
See also: put, set, somebody, work
References in periodicals archive ?
With the advent of evidence-based medicine, we must now set to work establishing the highest level of clinical evidence to ensure that more patients who can benefit from our neurological and urological therapies actually get them routinely as part of standard medical practice.
Town are set to work off a much smaller budget next year - and unless the players take a huge wage cut then they will be snapped up by other clubs.
OFFENDERS set to work on a Warwickshire steam engine project have been praised by a community railway.
The architects, both with extensive experience in trading floor design, set to work creating a new 40,000 SF facility that duplicates the one in Manhattan.
Even the cheapest options were too expensive for them, so they set to work to adapt their own computers for surveillance purposes - a way that could alert them to intruders in the hall and within their two-room office.
Leo's set to work again with Gangs of New York director Martin Scorsese in a movie on the young life of billionaire Howard Hughes.
After CNET's expert editors selected the three top gadget ideas from more than 3,000 community forum postings -- based on the amount of buzz they created and how useful, practical, and realistic the product was deemed to be -- the design firms then set to work to bring each gadget to life.
OFFENDERS set to work on a north Warwickshire steam engine project have been praised by a community railway.
Right away I was set to work with stapling, copying and faxing papers to other companies.
A test area proved the technique to be effective and Lime's crews set to work scrubbing the buildings down.
The remote enables consumers to create activities in which components around the home are set to work in unison by clicking a single button.
Modelling experts also set to work to design a shift system for the gearbox to move through the gears reliably every time.
Stationed roughly 124 miles from the Arctic Circle, the team set to work, conducting the most thorough examination of the Arctic ozone layer to date.
The free version of Viapoint allows information workers unlimited use of Viapoint's full feature set to work organized with files, RSS feeds, and web links but requires adapters for connectivity to popular email programs and CRM applications.
They and set to work under the watchful eyes of Coburn and Jennifer Dana, former owner of the sheep.