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set·up / ˈsetˌəp/ • n. [usu. in sing.] inf. 1. the way in which something, esp. an organization or equipment, is organized, planned, or arranged: would you feel comfortable in a team-teaching setup? ∎  an organization or arrangement: Moses and Jesus came from strange family setups. ∎  a set of equipment needed for a particular activity or purpose: I have a recording setup in my house. ∎  (in a ball game) a pass or play intended to provide an opportunity for another player to score.2. a scheme or trick intended to incriminate or deceive someone: “Listen. He didn't die. It was a setup.” ∎  a contest with a prearranged outcome.