set (up)on (someone or something)(redirected from set upon someone)
set (up)on (someone or something)
To viciously attack someone or something. The pair of thieves set upon the traveling merchant, stealing his goods and leaving him half-dead on the side of the road. The parade descended into chaos as a drunken band of teenagers set upon the main float and began tearing it to pieces. The deer was set on by the mountain lion.
See also: set
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
set (someone or an animal) on (someone or an animal)
to command someone or an animal to attack someone or an animal. The gang leader set his thugs on the unwary tourists. Scott set his hounds on the raccoon.
set something (up)on something
to place something on the surface of something. Mrs. Franklin set a bowl of fruit upon the table. I set my empty glass on the counter.
set upon someone or something
to attack someone or something violently. The dogs set upon the bear and chased it up a tree. Bill set upon Tom and struck him hard in the face.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, set upon.
1. Attack; see set at.
2. Instigate, urge one to engage in action, as in The older boys set on the young ones to get in trouble. [Early 1500s]
3. be set on or upon . Be determined to, as in He's set on studying law.
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 attack someone or something: The lions set on the gazelles.
2. To urge or incite someone or something to attack someone or something: The guards set attack dogs on the intruder.
To attack someone or something violently: The gang set upon their victim with clubs.
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.
Resolved to do something or strongly wishing for something: She is set on getting a role in the play.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.