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New England, Southern, and South Midland U.S.

a setback; relapse; reverse.
an eddy or countercurrent.

(on a lock on a door or the like) the horizontal distance between the face through which the bolt passes and the center line of the knob stem or keyhole.
Historical Examples

The rascals had had one backset, but this move seemed likely to more than make up for it.
Motor Matt’s Daring Rescue Stanley R. Matthews

One pool, a backset, was known as the Idiot’s Delight, because any one could catch fish there.
The Forest Stewart Edward White

Its backset, however, is caught in the yawning mouth of the race.
Historic Waterways–Six Hundred Miles of Canoeing Down the Rock, Fox, and Wisconsin Rivers Reuben Gold Thwaites

“There is no possible chance for any backset this time,” said the lieutenant.
No Moss Harry Castlemon

The backset to his ambition made him more sleepless than ever, bringing on frequent attacks of asthma.
The Faith Doctor Edward Eggleston

This was certainly a big “backset,” and one they had not dreamed of.
No Moss Harry Castlemon

The water is backset by a mill-dam for two miles, forming a small lake.
Historic Waterways–Six Hundred Miles of Canoeing Down the Rock, Fox, and Wisconsin Rivers Reuben Gold Thwaites


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