set·tle1 / ˈsetl/ • v. 1. [tr.] resolve or reach an agreement about (an argument or problem): every effort was made to settle the dispute. ∎ end (a legal dispute) by mutual agreement: the matter was settled out of court | [intr.] he sued for libel and then settled out of court. ∎ determine; decide on: exactly what goes into the legislation has not been settled | [intr.] they had not yet settled on a date for the wedding. ∎ pay (a debt or account): his bill was settled by charge card | [intr.] I settled up with your brother for my board and lodging. ∎ complete the administration and distribution of a decedent's estate. ∎ (settle something on) give money or property to (someone) through a deed of settlement or a will. ∎ [intr.] (settle for) accept or agree to (something that one considers to be less than satisfactory): it was too cold for champagne so they settled for a cup of tea. ∎ dated silence (someone considered a nuisance) by some means: he told me to hold my tongue or he would find a way to settle me. 2. [intr.] adopt a more steady or secure style of life, esp. in a permanent job and home: one day I will settle down and raise a family. ∎ make one's permanent home somewhere: in 1863 the family settled in London. ∎ begin to feel comfortable or established in a new home, situation, or job: she settled in happily with a foster family he had settled into his new job. ∎ [tr.] establish a colony in: European immigrants settled much of Australia. ∎ (settle down to) turn one's attention to; apply oneself to: Catherine settled down to her studies. ∎ become or make calmer or quieter: [intr.] after a few months the controversy settled down | [tr.] try to settle your puppy down before going to bed. 3. [intr.] sit or come to rest in a comfortable position: he settled into an armchair. ∎ [tr.] make (someone) comfortable in a particular place or position: she allowed him to settle her in the taxi. ∎ [tr.] move or adjust (something) so that it rests securely: she settled her bag on her shoulder. ∎ fall or come down on to a surface: dust from the mill had settled on the roof. ∎ [intr.] (of suspended particles) sink slowly in a liquid to form sediment; (of a liquid) become clear or still through this process: sediment settles near the bottom of the tank he pours a glass and leaves it on the bar to settle. ∎ [intr.] (of an object or objects) gradually sink down under its or their own weight: they listened to the soft ticking and creaking as the house settled. ∎ [intr.] (of a ship or boat) sink gradually. PHRASES: settle one's affairs make any necessary arrangements, such as writing a will, before one's death. settle someone's hashsee hash1 .DERIVATIVES: set·tle·a·ble adj. set·tled·ness n. set·tle2 • n. a wooden bench with a high back and arms, typically incorporating a box under the seat.
To agree, to approve, to arrange, to ascertain, to liquidate, or to reach an agreement.
Parties are said to settle an account when they examine its items and ascertain and agree upon the balance due from one to the other. When the person who owes money pays the balance, he or she is also said to settle it. A trust is settled when its terms are established and it goes into effect.
The term settle up is a colloquial rather than legal phrase that is applied to the final collection, adjustment, and distribution of the estate of a decedent, a bankrupt, or an insolvent corporation. It includes the processes of collecting the property, paying the debts and charges, and remitting the balance to those entitled to receive it.