set at(redirected from setting at them)
1. To place or fix something at a particular position. A noun or pronoun is used between "set" and "at." Please set the screen at a lower angle, I'm having trouble seeing the movie. I set both clock hands at 12 so people would known that it is broken.
2. To establish something at a fixed value, amount, or number. A noun or pronoun is used between "set" and "at." The government set the interest rate of government bonds at 3% for the next three years while the economy recovers. I originally set the oven at 300 degrees, but I think it needs to be hotter.
3. To physically attack someone with great ferocity or hostility. Watch out for that bull in the back field—he'll set at you if you get too close. John set at the burglar with a knife to defend his family.
4. To criticize, berate, or verbally harass someone at length or with great intensity. At the international summit, the foreign ambassador set at the president over the recent allegations of political espionage. The boss was really setting at Jen for the way she handled the accounts.
set something at something
to fix something at a particular value or amount. Please set the thermostat at a lower temperature. Who set the refrigerator at freezing?
Also, set upon. Attack or assail, as in The dog set at the postman, or The hyenas set upon the wounded lion. The first term dates from the early 1400s, the variant from the late 1300s.
To attack or assail someone or something: The dogs set at the fox.