Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

set in stone

set in stone
Meaning(s)
1) something difficult or impossible to change
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • the plan/schedule/rule isn't set in stone
  • Analysis
    If something is 'set in stone' it is not easy to change or alter. Something considered 'set in stone' is considered to be a firm plan which is impossible or very unlikely to change. This expression is used mostly to talk about plans and is related to the expression 'pencil it in'.  If something is written in pencil it is easily changed or erased, something carved or 'set in stone' however is there forever. "The date was pencilled in for the 15th of November and Herbert has approved it so you can consider that as set in stone for the launch date." This is an idiomatic expression used in both social and professional contexts.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I think the meeting is planned for 3 pm tomorrow, but nothing has been set in stone yet so that might change.
    2. The schedule has been set in stone, so there's no point trying to get them to change it now.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I am sure it's ok if you arrive late to the meeting, the agenda hasn't been set in stone.
    2. I was planning a holiday to malta this year, but my plans aren't set in stone until I buy the flights.


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