Etymology
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setback (n.)

also set-back, 1670s, "reversal, check to progress," from the verbal phrase, attested mid-15c. as "withhold;" see set (v.) + back (adv.). Backset (1721) is used in the same sense. The meaning "space between a building and a property line or roadway" is from 1916. To set (someone) back "cost" (a certain sum of money) is from 1900.

updated on June 26, 2022

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