v. set·tled, set·tling, set·tles
1. To end or resolve (a dispute, for example) by making a decision or coming to an agreement. See Synonyms at decide.
a. To resolve (a lawsuit or dispute) by mutual agreement of the parties rather than by court decision.
b. To make the determinations and distributions of (a trust).
a. To make compensation for (a claim).
b. To pay (a debt).
a. To put into order; arrange as desired: settle one's affairs.
b. To place or arrange in a desired position: settled the blanket over the baby; settled herself in an armchair.
c. To agree to or fix in advance: settled the date of the meeting in June.
a. To establish as a resident or residents: settled her family in Ohio.
b. To migrate to and establish residence in; colonize: Pioneers settled the West.
c. To establish in a residence, business, or profession: was finally settled in his own law practice.
6. To restore calmness or comfort to: The hot tea settled his nerves.
a. To cause to sink, become compact, or come to rest: shook the box to settle the raffle tickets.
b. To cause (a liquid) to become clear by forming a sediment.
1. To discontinue moving and come to rest in one place: The ball settled in the grass near the green.
2. To move downward; sink or descend, especially gradually: Darkness settled over the fields. Dust settled in the road.
a. To become clear by the sinking of suspended particles. Used of liquids.
b. To be separated from a solution or mixture as a sediment.
c. To become compact by sinking, as sediment when stirred up.
a. To establish one's residence: settled in Canada.
b. To become established or localized: The cold settled in my chest.
5. To reach a decision; decide: We finally settled on a solution to the problem.
6. To come to an agreement, especially to resolve a lawsuit out of court.
a. To provide compensation for a claim.
b. To pay a debt.
A long wooden bench with a high back, often including storage space beneath the seat.
1. To begin living a stable and orderly life: He settled down as a farmer with a family.
2. To become calm or composed.
To accept in spite of incomplete satisfaction: had to settle for a lower wage than the one requested.
settle (one's) stomach
To relieve one's indigestion or nausea.
settle (someone's) hash Slang
To silence or subdue.
[Middle English setlen, to seat, from Old English setlan, from setl, seat; see sed- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)settle
c. 1865 English settle by
Philip Webb (1831-1915)
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.