1 /'setl/ verb
a) (intransitive always + adv/prep, transitive always + adv/prep) to put yourself or someone else in a comfortable position
(+ back/into/down): Mel settled back in his chair and closed his eyes. | settle yourself: Kari had already settled herself in a corner where she could watch.
b) to put something carefully in a particular place so that it stays there: Lee settled the cup on the saucer.
a) if dust, snow etc settles it comes down and stays in one place
(+ on/in): snow settling on the roofs | The sediment will settle in the bottle after a few days.
b) if a bird, insect etc settles it flies down and rests on something
(+ on): A fly settled on the plate of cookies.
3 END AN ARGUMENT (I, T) to end an argument by agreeing on something
(+ with): It looks like they're finally going to settle with the railroad. | settle a quarrel/argument/dispute etc: There's only one way to settle the dispute, and they know it. | settle out of court (=come to an agreement to avoid going to a court of law) | settle your differences (=agree to stop arguing with someone)
4 DECIDE (T) to decide on something, especially so that you can make definite arrangements: settled (that): It was settled that Jim would visit us on the weekend. | It is settled (=it is now decided): It's settled then. I'll go back to the States in June. | That settles it! (=this is enough information for a decision to be made): Carol's only 15? That settles it. We are not taking her with us.
5 PAY MONEY (T) to pay money that is owed: settle a bill/account/claim: We expect you to settle your account in full each month. | These insurance companies take forever to settle a claim.
6 TAKE CARE OF DETAILS (T) to put all the details of a piece of business into order and deal with them, for example before you travel or because you may die soon: settle the details (=deal with the details of a plan, agreement etc) | settle your affairs (=put your personal business in order) | settle an estate (=deal with the way someone's property is divided after they die)
7 QUIET/CALM (I, T) to become quiet or calm, or to make someone or something quiet or calm: When the children had settled, Miss Brown gave out the new reading books. | settle your nerves/stomach (=stop your nerves or stomach from being upset): A little soda should settle your tummy.
a) (I) to go to live in a new place, and stay there: After returning from abroad they settled in Chicago.
b) (I) to go to a new place where there are few people and start to live there: Jamestown was already settled when the Pilgrims came to America.
9 A FEELING/QUALITY (intransitive always + adv/prep) if a quality or feeling settles over a place or on someone it has a strong effect
(+ over/on): Despair seemed to settle on him and he could hardly work. | A velvety silence settled over the room.
10 settle a score/account to do something to hurt or cause trouble for someone because they have harmed or offended you: She's got a few old scores to settle with him.
11 SINK (I) if something such as a building or the ground settles it sinks slowly to a lower level: The crack in the wall is caused by the ground settling.
12 LOOK (I) if your eyes settle on someone or something you look at them carefully for a period of time
(+ on): The teacher's steely eyes settled on Bobby.
13 EXPRESSION (I) if a particular expression settles on your face, it stays there: His face settled into a severe frown.
14 FOOD (I) if something you eat settles, it is digested (digest1 (1)) well: Give your lunch a chance to settle.
settle down phrasal verb
1 (intransitive, transitive settle someone down) to stop talking or behaving in an excited way, or to make someone do this: Everybody settle down so we can hear the story. | Sheila seems to have settled down more since school started.
2 (I) to start living in a place with the intention of staying there, especially after you have travelled a lot: They'd like to see her daughter settle down, get married, and have kids.
3 (I, T) to start giving all of your attention to a job, activity etc
(+ to): They settled down to a serious discussion over coffee. | settle yourself down: Sally sighed, and settled herself down to listen. settle for sth phrasal verb (transitive not in passive) to accept or agree to something, especially something that is less than what you want: We've no TV and have had to settle for hearing the news on the radio. | They want $3000 for their car and won't settle for anything less. | You'll have to settle for a cheaper car. settle in/into phrasal verb
1 (intransitive, transitive settle someone in) to become used to a new home, job, surroundings etc or to help someone do this: Are you settling in OK? | It takes a few months to settle into life at college.
2 (I) to make yourself comfortable and prepare to stay somewhere for a period of time
(+ for): They settled in for a long wait in the airport lounge. settle on/upon phrasal verb (T)
1 (settle on something/someone) to decide or agree on something: They haven't settled yet on a name for the baby.
2 (settle something on someone) BrE formal to make a formal arrangement to give money or property to someone: She settled a small yearly sum on each of her children.
settle up phrasal verb
1 (I) to pay what you owe on an account or bill
(+ with): I'll settle up with the bartender and we can leave.
2 (I) if two or more people settle up, they agree on a final arrangement for paying money, dividing property etc: It's time we settled up. What do I owe you?
2 noun (C) a long wooden seat with a high back that usually has a hollow place for storing things under the seat

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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