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to set to work
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Set \Set\ (s[e^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Set; p. pr. & vb. n. Setting.] [OE. setten, AS. setton; akin to OS. settian, OFries. setta, D. zetten, OHG. sezzen, G. setzen, Icel. setja, Sw. s[aum]tta, Dan. s?tte, Goth. satjan; causative from the root of E. sit. [root]154. See Sit, and cf. Seize.] 1. To cause to sit; to make to assume a specified position or attitude; to give site or place to; to place; to put; to fix; as, to set a house on a stone foundation; to set a book on a shelf; to set a dish on a table; to set a chest or trunk on its bottom or on end. [1913 Webster] I do set my bow in the cloud. --Gen. ix. 13. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, to attach or affix (something) to something else, or in or upon a certain place. [1913 Webster] Set your affection on things above. --Col. iii. 2. [1913 Webster] The Lord set a mark upon Cain. --Gen. iv. 15. [1913 Webster] 3. To make to assume specified place, condition, or occupation; to put in a certain condition or state (described by the accompanying words); to cause to be. [1913 Webster] The Lord thy God will set thee on high. --Deut. xxviii. 1. [1913 Webster] I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother. --Matt. x. 35. [1913 Webster] Every incident sets him thinking. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster] 4. To fix firmly; to make fast, permanent, or stable; to render motionless; to give an unchanging place, form, or condition to. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) To cause to stop or stick; to obstruct; to fasten to a spot; hence, to occasion difficulty to; to embarrass; as, to set a coach in the mud. [1913 Webster] They show how hard they are set in this particular. --Addison. [1913 Webster] (b) To fix beforehand; to determine; hence, to make unyielding or obstinate; to render stiff, unpliant, or rigid; as, to set one's countenance. [1913 Webster] His eyes were set by reason of his age. --1 Kings xiv. 4. [1913 Webster] On these three objects his heart was set. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] Make my heart as a millstone, set my face as a flint. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] (c) To fix in the ground, as a post or a tree; to plant; as, to set pear trees in an orchard. [1913 Webster] (d) To fix, as a precious stone, in a border of metal; to place in a setting; hence, to place in or amid something which serves as a setting; as, to set glass in a sash. [1913 Webster] And him too rich a jewel to be set In vulgar metal for a vulgar use. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (e) To render stiff or solid; especially, to convert into curd; to curdle; as, to set milk for cheese. [1913 Webster] 5. To put into a desired position or condition; to adjust; to regulate; to adapt. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) To put in order in a particular manner; to prepare; as, to set (that is, to hone) a razor; to set a saw. [1913 Webster] Tables for to sette, and beddes make. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] (b) To extend and bring into position; to spread; as, to set the sails of a ship. [1913 Webster] (c) To give a pitch to, as a tune; to start by fixing the keynote; as, to set a psalm. --Fielding. [1913 Webster] (d) To reduce from a dislocated or fractured state; to replace; as, to set a broken bone. [1913 Webster] (e) To make to agree with some standard; as, to set a watch or a clock. [1913 Webster] (f) (Masonry) To lower into place and fix solidly, as the blocks of cut stone in a structure. [1913 Webster] 6. To stake at play; to wager; to risk. [1913 Webster] I have set my life upon a cast, And I will stand the hazard of the die. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 7. To fit with music; to adapt, as words to notes; to prepare for singing. [1913 Webster] Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 8. To determine; to appoint; to assign; to fix; as, to set a time for a meeting; to set a price on a horse. [1913 Webster] 9. To adorn with something infixed or affixed; to stud; to variegate with objects placed here and there. [1913 Webster] High on their heads, with jewels richly set, Each lady wore a radiant coronet. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] Pastoral dales thin set with modern farms. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] 10. To value; to rate; -- with at. [1913 Webster] Be you contented, wearing now the garland, To have a son set your decrees at naught. --Shak. [1913 Webster] I do not set my life at a pin's fee. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 11. To point out the seat or position of, as birds, or other game; -- said of hunting dogs. [1913 Webster] 12. To establish as a rule; to furnish; to prescribe; to assign; as, to set an example; to set lessons to be learned. [1913 Webster] 13. To suit; to become; as, it sets him ill. [Scot.] [1913 Webster] 14. (Print.) To compose; to arrange in words, lines, etc.; as, to set type; to set a page. [1913 Webster] To set abroach. See Abroach. [Obs.] --Shak. To set against, to oppose; to set in comparison with, or to oppose to, as an equivalent in exchange; as, to set one thing against another. To set agoing, to cause to move. To set apart, to separate to a particular use; to separate from the rest; to reserve. To set a saw, to bend each tooth a little, every alternate one being bent to one side, and the intermediate ones to the other side, so that the opening made by the saw may be a little wider than the thickness of the back, to prevent the saw from sticking. To set aside. (a) To leave out of account; to pass by; to omit; to neglect; to reject; to annul. [1913 Webster] Setting aside all other considerations, I will endeavor to know the truth, and yield to that. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster] (b) To set apart; to reserve; as, to set aside part of one's income. (c) (Law) See under Aside. To set at defiance, to defy. To set at ease, to quiet; to tranquilize; as, to set the heart at ease. To set at naught, to undervalue; to contemn; to despise. "Ye have set at naught all my counsel." --Prov. i. 25. To set a trap To set a snare, or To set a gin, to put it in a proper condition or position to catch prey; hence, to lay a plan to deceive and draw another into one's power. To set at work, or To set to work. (a) To cause to enter on work or action, or to direct how tu enter on work. (b) To apply one's self; -- used reflexively. To set before. (a) To bring out to view before; to exhibit. (b) To propose for choice to; to offer to. To set by. (a) To set apart or on one side; to reject. (b) To attach the value of (anything) to. "I set not a straw by thy dreamings." --Chaucer. To set by the compass, to observe and note the bearing or situation of by the compass. To set case, to suppose; to assume. Cf. Put case, under Put, v. t. [Obs.] --Chaucer. To set down. (a) To enter in writing; to register. [1913 Webster] Some rules were to be set down for the government of the army. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster] (b) To fix; to establish; to ordain. [1913 Webster] This law we may name eternal, being that order which God . . . hath set down with himself, for himself to do all things by. --Hooker. [1913 Webster] (c) To humiliate. To set eyes on, to see; to behold; to fasten the eyes on. To set fire to, or To set on fire, to communicate fire to; fig., to inflame; to enkindle the passions of; to irritate. To set flying (Naut.), to hook to halyards, sheets, etc., instead of extending with rings or the like on a stay; -- said of a sail. To set forth. (a) To manifest; to offer or present to view; to exhibt; to display. (b) To publish; to promulgate; to make appear. --Waller. (c) To send out; to prepare and send. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The Venetian admiral had a fleet of sixty galleys, set forth by the Venetians. --Knolles. [1913 Webster] To set forward. (a) To cause to advance. (b) To promote. To set free, to release from confinement, imprisonment, or bondage; to liberate; to emancipate. To set in, to put in the way; to begin; to give a start to. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] If you please to assist and set me in, I will recollect myself. --Collier. [1913 Webster] To set in order, to adjust or arrange; to reduce to method. "The rest will I set in order when I come." --1 Cor. xi. 34. To set milk. (a) To expose it in open dishes in order that the cream may rise to the surface. (b) To cause it to become curdled as by the action of rennet. See 4 (e) . To set much by or To set little by, to care much, or little, for. To set of, to value; to set by. [Obs.] "I set not an haw of his proverbs." --Chaucer. To set off. (a) To separate from a whole; to assign to a particular purpose; to portion off; as, to set off a portion of an estate. (b) To adorn; to decorate; to embellish. [1913 Webster] They . . . set off the worst faces with the best airs. --Addison. [1913 Webster] (c) To give a flattering description of. To set off against, to place against as an equivalent; as, to set off one man's services against another's. To set on or To set upon. (a) To incite; to instigate. "Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this." --Shak. (b) To employ, as in a task. " Set on thy wife to observe." --Shak. (c) To fix upon; to attach strongly to; as, to set one's heart or affections on some object. See definition 2, above. To set one's cap for. See under Cap, n. To set one's self against, to place one's self in a state of enmity or opposition to. To set one's teeth, to press them together tightly. To set on foot, to set going; to put in motion; to start. To set out. (a) To assign; to allot; to mark off; to limit; as, to set out the share of each proprietor or heir of an estate; to set out the widow's thirds. (b) To publish, as a proclamation. [Obs.] (c) To adorn; to embellish. [1913 Webster] An ugly woman, in rich habit set out with jewels, nothing can become. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (d) To raise, equip, and send forth; to furnish. [R.] [1913 Webster] The Venetians pretend they could set out, in case of great necessity, thirty men-of-war. --Addison. [1913 Webster] (e) To show; to display; to recommend; to set off. [1913 Webster] I could set out that best side of Luther. --Atterbury. [1913 Webster] (f) To show; to prove. [R.] "Those very reasons set out how heinous his sin was." --Atterbury. (g) (Law) To recite; to state at large. To set over. (a) To appoint or constitute as supervisor, inspector, ruler, or commander. (b) To assign; to transfer; to convey. To set right, to correct; to put in order. To set sail. (Naut.) See under Sail, n. To set store by, to consider valuable. To set the fashion, to determine what shall be the fashion; to establish the mode. To set the teeth on edge, to affect the teeth with a disagreeable sensation, as when acids are brought in contact with them. To set the watch (Naut.), to place the starboard or port watch on duty. To set to, to attach to; to affix to. "He . . . hath set to his seal that God is true." --John iii. 33. To set up. (a) To erect; to raise; to elevate; as, to set up a building, or a machine; to set up a post, a wall, a pillar. (b) Hence, to exalt; to put in power. "I will . . . set up the throne of David over Israel." --2 Sam. iii. 10. (c) To begin, as a new institution; to institute; to establish; to found; as, to set up a manufactory; to set up a school. (d) To enable to commence a new business; as, to set up a son in trade. (e) To place in view; as, to set up a mark. (f) To raise; to utter loudly; as, to set up the voice. [1913 Webster] I'll set up such a note as she shall hear. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (g) To advance; to propose as truth or for reception; as, to set up a new opinion or doctrine. --T. Burnet. (h) To raise from depression, or to a sufficient fortune; as, this good fortune quite set him up. (i) To intoxicate. [Slang] (j) (Print.) To put in type; as, to set up copy; to arrange in words, lines, etc., ready for printing; as, to set up type. To set up the rigging (Naut.), to make it taut by means of tackles. --R. H. Dana, Jr. [1913 Webster] Syn: See Put. [1913 Webster] .
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Work \Work\ (w[^u]rk), n. [OE. work, werk, weorc, AS. weorc, worc; akin to OFries. werk, wirk, OS., D., & G. werk, OHG. werc, werah, Icel. & Sw. verk, Dan. v[ae]rk, Goth. gawa['u]rki, Gr. 'e`rgon, [digamma]e`rgon, work, "re`zein to do, 'o`rganon an instrument, 'o`rgia secret rites, Zend verez to work. [root]145. Cf. Bulwark, Energy, Erg, Georgic, Liturgy, Metallurgy, Organ, Orgy, Surgeon, Wright.] [1913 Webster] 1. Exertion of strength or faculties; physical or intellectual effort directed to an end; industrial activity; toil; employment; sometimes, specifically, physical labor. [1913 Webster] Man hath his daily work of body or mind Appointed. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. The matter on which one is at work; that upon which one spends labor; material for working upon; subject of exertion; the thing occupying one; business; duty; as, to take up one's work; to drop one's work. [1913 Webster] Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand That you yet know not of. --Shak. [1913 Webster] In every work that he began . . . he did it with all his heart, and prospered. --2 Chron. xxxi. 21. [1913 Webster] 3. That which is produced as the result of labor; anything accomplished by exertion or toil; product; performance; fabric; manufacture; in a more general sense, act, deed, service, effect, result, achievement, feat. [1913 Webster] To leave no rubs or blotches in the work. --Shak. [1913 Webster] The work some praise, And some the architect. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Fancy . . . Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams. --Milton. [1913 Webster] The composition or dissolution of mixed bodies . . . is the chief work of elements. --Sir K. Digby. [1913 Webster] 4. Specifically: (a) That which is produced by mental labor; a composition; a book; as, a work, or the works, of Addison. (b) Flowers, figures, or the like, wrought with the needle; embroidery. [1913 Webster] I am glad I have found this napkin; . . . I'll have the work ta'en out, And give 't Iago. --Shak. [1913 Webster] (c) pl. Structures in civil, military, or naval engineering, as docks, bridges, embankments, trenches, fortifications, and the like; also, the structures and grounds of a manufacturing establishment; as, iron works; locomotive works; gas works. (d) pl. The moving parts of a mechanism; as, the works of a watch. [1913 Webster] 5. Manner of working; management; treatment; as, unskillful work spoiled the effect. --Bp. Stillingfleet. [1913 Webster] 6. (Mech.) The causing of motion against a resisting force. The amount of work is proportioned to, and is measured by, the product of the force into the amount of motion along the direction of the force. See Conservation of energy, under Conservation, Unit of work, under Unit, also Foot pound, Horse power, Poundal, and Erg. [1913 Webster] Energy is the capacity of doing work . . . Work is the transference of energy from one system to another. --Clerk Maxwell. [1913 Webster] 7. (Mining) Ore before it is dressed. --Raymond. [1913 Webster] 8. pl. (Script.) Performance of moral duties; righteous conduct. [1913 Webster] He shall reward every man according to his works. --Matt. xvi. 27. [1913 Webster] Faith, if it hath not works, is dead. --James ii. 17. [1913 Webster] 9. (Cricket) Break; twist. [Cant] [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 10. (Mech.) The causing of motion against a resisting force, measured by the product of the force into the component of the motion resolved along the direction of the force. Energy is the capacity of doing work. . . . Work is the transference of energy from one system to another. --Clerk Maxwell. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 11. (Mining) Ore before it is dressed. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] Muscular work (Physiol.), the work done by a muscle through the power of contraction. To go to work, to begin laboring; to commence operations; to contrive; to manage. "I 'll go another way to work with him." --Shak. To set on work, to cause to begin laboring; to set to work. [Obs.] --Hooker. To set to work, to employ; to cause to engage in any business or labor. [1913 Webster]