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Definition of "setback" []

  • An unanticipated or sudden check in progress; a change from better to worse. (noun)
  • A steplike recession in a wall. (noun)
  • Any of a series of such recessions in the rise of a tall building. (noun)
  • An automatically timed setting of a thermostat to a lower temperature, as in the home at night. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "setback" in a sentence
  • "Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Champions League carrot will inspire a United revival after the title setback against Chelsea."
  • "Another setback is the slow pace of the disclosure of government documentation in civil proceedings brought by six former Guantánamo inmates who are suing the government for its alleged role in their rendition and torture."
  • "At the time it occurs, a setback is a potential failure."