setback Definition

  • 1a reversal or check in progress
  • 2a difficulty or problem that delays or prevents something, or makes a situation worse

Using setback: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "setback" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The team suffered a major setback when their star player was injured.

  • Example

    The project experienced several setbacks due to budget cuts.

  • Example

    The company's profits suffered a setback this quarter.

  • Example

    The storm caused a setback in the construction schedule.

setback Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using setback

  • a setback for someone/something

    an event or situation that causes a delay or difficulty for someone or something


    The loss of funding was a setback for the research project.

  • to recover from a difficult or challenging situation


    After the initial setback, the team was able to regroup and come back stronger than ever.

  • one step forward, two steps back

    a situation in which progress is slow or difficult because every time you make progress, something bad happens that causes you to lose some or all of the progress you made


    The project felt like one step forward, two steps back, as every time they made progress, a new setback would occur.

Phrases with setback

  • a small or relatively insignificant obstacle or delay


    The delay in shipping was just a minor setback for the project.

  • a significant or serious obstacle or delay


    The cancellation of the contract was a major setback for the company.

  • a decline or reduction in economic growth or prosperity


    The recession caused a significant economic setback for the country.

Origins of setback

from 'set' and 'back', meaning to move something to a less advanced or worse state


Summary: setback in Brief

The term 'setback' [ˈsɛtbæk] refers to a reversal or check in progress, often caused by difficulties or problems that delay or prevent something. It can range from minor to major, such as 'The team suffered a major setback when their star player was injured.' 'Setback' extends into phrases like 'economic setback,' and idioms like 'come back from a setback,' denoting recovery from a difficult situation.