set (someone or something) back

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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.
See also: back, set

set someone back (some amount of money)

to cost someone (an amount of money). This coat set me back about $250. That fancy dinner at the restaurant last night really set us back.
See also: back, set

set something back

 and put something back
to set something, like a timepiece, to a lower number. (Put is less common.) It's that time of year when you must set your clocks and watches back! Set back your clock tonight. I have to put all the clocks back.
See also: back, set

set back

1. Slow down the progress of, hinder, as in The project was set back by the frequent absences of staff members. [First half of 1500s]
2. Cost, as in That car set me back twenty thousand dollars. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
3. Change to a lower level or earlier time, as in We set back the thermostat whenever we go on vacation, or On October 10 we have to set back the clocks. [First half of 1600s] Set back the clock is also used figuratively to mean "return to an earlier era," as in He wished he could set back the clock to those carefree high-school days. Also see set forward.
See also: back, set

set back

v.
1. To construct something so that it is a certain distance away from the edge of some boundary. Used in the passive: All houses must be set back 100 feet from the lake. The second tier of the building is set back 10 feet.
2. To slow down the progress of something; hinder something: Bad weather set the project back two weeks. The recent attacks have set back the peace process.
3. To cost someone some amount of money: That coat set me back $1,000.
4. To adjust some instrument or device to an earlier reading: Last fall, I forgot to set back my clock. The dealership set the odometer back and tried to sell the car as new.
See also: back, set

set someone back

tv. to cost someone. This bracelet set me back plenty.
See also: back, set, someone
References in classic literature ?
In short, we had demonstrated our rights to empire, and very rapidly were we being recognized and heralded abroad when my departure for the outer world and Hooja's treachery had set us back.
The pressure was enormous - a loss would have set us back five years at least, so the sense of relief is understandable.
"It's disappointing it has set us back a little bit but that is their business and we need get on with ours.
I hope I am wrong but this has set us back as a club.
You name it, everything controlled by computer would fail catastrophically and would set us back decades unless we bought new computers.
Ariyo, while addressing a press conference on Sunday, argued that 'President Muhammadu Buhari has also demonstrated the capacity and a commitment to leave Nigeria better than the way he met it by ensuring zero tolerance for those vices that had set us back as a people and as a nation over the years'.
"I thought they fought back really well and them taking three wickets in an over really did set us back and we never really regained momentum - it probably cost us 30 or 40 runs."
"I thought India fought back really well and them taking three wickets in an over really did set us back quite a bit and we never really regained momentum - it probably cost us 30 or 40 runs."
Raising three daughters and getting through the recession has set us back quite a bit.
It's probably fair to say that we were struggling for some pace through the early stages, but then when the puncture set us back we didn't have any chance with the road position.
"Our aim is to have our own purpose-built HQ but things like this set us back."
The shadow chancellor added: "It just set us back and I was furious about it to be frank, absolutely furious.
contribution, she said adding Baseless accusations only set us back and undermine our joint efforts to counter terrorism.
"We had shown signs of improvement but the Leicester game and this one have really set us back".