Meaning of setback in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsɛtbak/

See synonyms for setback

Translate setback into Spanish


  • 1A reversal or check in progress.

    ‘a serious setback for the peace process’
    • ‘However, it is a fact of life that there is no progress without a few setbacks.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the amount of work that she was being forced to do was a huge setback to their progress.’
    • ‘As the process moves forward, there will no doubt be frustrating delays and difficult setbacks.’
    • ‘He said there is a window of opportunity to reverse the environmental setback caused by many years of neglect.’
    • ‘Serious setbacks have not deterred Dawn Phillips from following her dream to run local cafés.’
    • ‘Each succeeded one way or another, but not overnight, and certainly not without serious setbacks.’
    • ‘In fact, many men have experienced the crushing setback of reverse discrimination when seeking jobs.’
    • ‘Since 1990, the global environment has both made progress and suffered setbacks.’
    • ‘They move into a tenement, the only place they can afford, and set about making a good life despite some serious setbacks.’
    • ‘Over the last year the pharmaceutical corporations have been making sure they reverse any setbacks they incurred.’
    • ‘It is also the story of reversals and setbacks in broader social and economic policy, as Richard Rothstein has argued.’
    • ‘It begins with a brief overview of the major developments over the last decade, identifying both progress and setbacks.’
    • ‘The decision will be seen as a serious setback to the team's hopes of progressing to the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal.’
    • ‘It was a serious setback for the Mayo men and four minutes later this was compounded when Hayes set up Mark Ronan for the opening goal of the match.’
    • ‘Zambian football has survived more serious setbacks before.’
    • ‘This would be a setback to progress that has been made.’
    • ‘But in order to win a war, you have to have the vision and determination to fight it despite setbacks and political difficulties.’
    • ‘The findings will be a serious setback for Blair and Jack McConnell as they battle to persuade activists to campaign in the coming election.’
    • ‘While the four are now being recognized for their efforts, most of them have suffered serious career setbacks and financial difficulties.’
    • ‘This lack of preparation caused some serious setbacks.’
    problem, difficulty, issue, hitch, complication, upset, disappointment, misfortune, mishap, piece of bad luck, unfortunate development, reversal, reverse, reverse of fortune
    View synonyms
  • 2Architecture
    A plain, flat offset in a wall.

    ‘We do not need windows in walls facing small setbacks to gain light and ventilation.’
    • ‘The article described the fashionable exterior skin and angling setbacks.’
    • ‘Leave the lip in place because it seems that even a three-course wall looks nicer with the setback.’
  • 3North American The distance by which a building or part of a building is set back from the property line.

    as modifier ‘they had to get permission to overlap the city's setback lines’
    • ‘Remember to provide for a 10-foot setback from property lines and buildings.’
    • ‘They should also be knowledgeable about local building codes, including property setbacks and variances.’
    • ‘Except for the required setbacks, the building is the same size and shape as the site.’