settle
Pronunciation Verb

settle (settles, present participle settling; past and past participle settled)

  1. To conclude or resolve (something):
    1. (transitive) To determine (something which was exposed to doubt or question); to resolve conclusively; to set or fix (a time, an order of succession, etc).
      • 1713-14, Jonathan Swift, The Publick Spirit of the Whigs
        It will settle the wavering, confirm the doubtful.
      His fears were settled
      She hopes to settle and questions about the plans.
      The question of the succession to a throne needs to be settled.
    2. (transitive) To conclude, to cause (a dispute) to finish.
      to settle a quarrel
      1. (transitive) In particular, to terminate (a lawsuit), usually out of court, by agreement of all parties.
    3. (transitive) To close, liquidate or balance (an account) by payment, sometimes of less than is owed or due.
      • Paul Kelly, Willie Blair: A Tale of True Loss and Sadness ISBN 1782345329:
        The coffee was only surface wet and looked worse than it actually was and as he returned to the Reception Desk to settle his account and give back his room key, he was met again by the young man who was still wearing his rucksack.
    4. (transitive, colloquial) To pay (a bill).
      to settle a bill
    5. (intransitive) To adjust differences or accounts; to come to an agreement on matters in dispute.
      He has settled with his creditors.
    6. (intransitive) To conclude a lawsuit by agreement of the parties rather than a decision of a court.
  2. (transitive) To place or arrange in(to) a desired (especially: calm) state, or make final disposition of (something).
    to settle my affairs
    to settle her estate
    1. (transitive) To put into (proper) place; to make sit properly.
      • 2012, Nancy Gideon, Seeker of Shadows ISBN 143919954X:
        She twisted out from under the claim of his palm to settle her feet on the floor.
      • 2002, Tom Deitz, Warautumn ISBN 0553380710, page 53:
        Pausing only to settle his cloak and set his Regent's circlet on his hair, he strode to the rail and waited.
    2. (transitive) To cause to be no longer in a disturbed condition; to quiet; to calm (nerves, waters, a boisterous or rebellious child, etc).
      • God settled then the huge whale-bearing lake.
      • Hoping that sleep might settle his brains.
    3. (UK, dialectal) To silence, especially by force; by extension, to kill.
      • 1894-5, Patterson, Man and Nature (in The Primitive Methodist Magazine):
        I poured a charge of powder over the nipple so as not tu miss goin' off if possible. Click! went the match,—up jumped the flock, or tried tu. As they bunched up, Peggy blazed intu 'em, settlin’ how many I didn't know, [...]
    4. (transitive) To bring or restore (ground, roads, etc) to a smooth, dry, or passable condition.
      clear weather settles the roads
  3. (intransitive) To become calm, quiet, or orderly; to stop being agitated.
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
      Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear: / Then, till the fury of his highness settle, / Come not before him.
    the weather settled;  wait until the crowd settles before speaking
    1. (intransitive) To become firm, dry, and hard, like the ground after the effects of rain or frost have disappeared.
      the roads settled late in the spring.
  4. To establish or become established in a steady position:
    1. (transitive) To place in(to) a fixed or permanent condition or position or on(to) a permanent basis; to make firm, steady, or stable; to establish or fix.
      • 2 Kings VIII. 11. (Rev. Ver.):
        And he settled his countenance steadfastly upon him,until he was ashamed.
    2. (transitive) In particular, to establish in life; to fix in business, in a home, etc.
      • Bible
        But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever.
      1. (transitive, obsolete, US) In particular, to establish in pastoral office; to ordain or install as pastor or rector of a church, society, or parish.
        to settle a minister
    3. (transitive, law) To formally, legally secure (an annuity, property, title, etc) on (a person).
    4. (intransitive) To become married, or a householder.
      • As people marry now and settle.
    5. (intransitive, with "in") To be established in a profession or in employment.
    6. (intransitive, usually with "down", "in", "on" or another preposition) To become stationary or fixed; to come to rest.
      • 1626, Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis
        The wind came about and settled in the west.
      • Chyle […] runs through all the intermediate colors until it settles in an intense red.
      they settled down at an inn; the hawk settled on a branch
  5. (intransitive) To fix one's residence in a place; to establish a dwelling place, home, or colony. (Compare settle down.)
    the Saxons who settled in Britain
    1. (transitive, in particular) To colonize (an area); to migrate to (a land, territory, site, etc).
      the French first settled Canada
      the Puritans settled New England
      Plymouth was settled in 1620.
  6. (transitive) To move (people) to (a land or territory), so as to colonize it; to cause (people) to take residence in (a place).
  7. To sink, or cause (something, or impurities within it) to sink down, especially so as to become clear or compact.
    1. (transitive) To clear or purify (a liquid) of dregs and impurities by causing them to sink.
      to settle coffee, or the grounds of coffee
    2. (transitive) To cause to sink down or to be deposited (as dregs, sediment, etc).
      to settle the sediment out of the water
    3. (transitive) To render compact or solid; to cause to become packed down.
      to settle the chips in the potato chip bag by shaking it
    4. (intransitive) To sink to the bottom of a body of liquid, as dregs of a liquid, or the sediment of a reservoir.
    5. (intransitive) To sink gradually to a lower level; to subside, for example the foundation of a house, etc.
    6. (intransitive) To become compact due to sinking.
      the chips in the bag of potato chips settled during shipping
    7. (intransitive) To become clear due to the sinking of sediment. (Used especially of liquid. also used figuratively.)
      wine settles by standing
  8. (intransitive, obsolete) To make a jointure for a spouse.
    • He sighs with most success that settles well.
  9. (transitive, intransitive, of an, animal) To make or become pregnant.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

settle (plural settles)

  1. (archaic) A seat of any kind.
    • upon the settle of his majesty
    • :
      If hunger drive the Pagans from their dens,
      One, 'gainst a settle breaketh both his shins;
    • :
      [The] Queen or eorl's wife, with a train of maidens, bore ale-bowl or mead-bowl round the hall, from the high settle of king or ealdorman in the midst to the mead benches ranged around its walls, while the gleeman sang the hero-songs
  2. (now, rare) A long bench with a high back and arms, often with chest or storage space underneath.
    • 1808 February 21, Walter Scott, “Canto Third. The Hostel, or Inn.”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: Printed by J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, […]; London: William Miller, and John Murray, OCLC 270129616 ↗, stanza III, page 103 ↗:
      Beneath its shade, the place of state, / On oaken settle Marmion sate, / And viewed around the blazing hearth.
    • , After his Kind:
      By the fireside, the big arm-chair [...] fondly cronied with two venerable settles within the chimney corner.
    • 1883, Thomas Hardy, The Three Strangers:
      Of these, five women, wearing gowns of various bright hues, sat in chairs along the wall; girls shy and not shy filled the window-bench; four men, including Charley Jake the hedge-carpenter, Elijah New the parish-clerk, and John Pitcher, a neighboring dairyman, the shepherd's father-in-law, lolled in the settle.
    • 1880, Ellen Murray Beam, English translation of Captain Fracasse by Théophile Gautier (ISBN 9781465548160):
      Let us return now to the little girl we left feigning to sleep soundly upon a settle in the kitchen.
  3. (obsolete) A place made lower than the rest; a wide step or platform lower than some other part. (Compare a depression.)
    • Bible, Ezekiel xliii. 14
      And from the bottom upon the ground, even to the lower settle, shall be two cubits, and the breadth one cubit.

Settle
Proper noun
  1. A town in North Yorkshire, England.



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