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Drawback vs. Setback: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A drawback is a disadvantage or negative aspect, while a setback is a delay or reversal in progress or development.
Drawback vs. Setback

Key Differences

A drawback typically refers to a disadvantage or hindrance inherent in a situation, object, or plan, often making it less attractive or effective. In contrast, a setback is an unexpected obstacle or delay that hinders progress or development, typically in the context of a project or personal goal.
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Dec 06, 2023
Drawbacks are often considered during decision-making, highlighting the negative aspects that could impact the overall desirability or functionality of a choice. Setbacks, on the other hand, usually occur during the implementation or progression of plans, causing a temporary halt or regression.
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Dec 06, 2023
In terms of scope, a drawback is generally a static, identifiable negative aspect that can be anticipated. Setbacks, however, are dynamic and occur due to unforeseen circumstances, often requiring adjustments to overcome.
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Dec 06, 2023
Drawbacks often influence the initial choice or design of a plan, requiring consideration of how their impact can be minimized. Setbacks require responsive action and adaptation to get back on track towards objectives or goals.
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Dec 06, 2023
While drawbacks are usually intrinsic to the situation and must be accepted or mitigated, setbacks are extrinsic challenges that can be overcome with effort and strategy, emphasizing resilience and adaptability.
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Inherent disadvantage or negative aspect
Unexpected obstacle or delay
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Occurrence

Identified before or during decision-making
Occurs during implementation or progress
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Impact

Affects desirability or effectiveness
Causes delay or regression in progress
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Scope

Static and predictable
Dynamic and often unforeseen
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Response Required

Consideration and mitigation
Adaptation and problem-solving
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Drawback and Setback Definitions

Drawback

A negative aspect that reduces appeal or utility.
The phone's short battery life was a serious drawback.
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Dec 06, 2023

Setback

A reversal or delay in progress.
The project faced a major setback due to funding issues.
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Dec 06, 2023

Drawback

A disadvantage or negative aspect.
The main drawback of the plan was its high cost.
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Dec 06, 2023

Setback

A hindrance that delays objectives.
Losing their lead investor was a major setback for the startup.
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Drawback

A factor that detracts from the overall value.
The car's high fuel consumption was a major drawback.
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Setback

An interruption in the advancement of a plan.
Bad weather caused a setback in the construction schedule.
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Drawback

An unfavorable condition or feature.
A significant drawback of the apartment was its lack of natural light.
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Dec 06, 2023

Setback

An obstacle that hinders achievement.
His injury was a significant setback in his training.
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Drawback

A disadvantage or inconvenience.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

A temporary regression in development.
The company experienced a setback with the failure of its new product.
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Dec 06, 2023

Drawback

A refund or remittance, such as a discount on duties or taxes for goods destined for reexport.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

An unanticipated or sudden check in progress; a change from better to worse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Drawback

A disadvantage; something that detracts or takes away.
Poor fuel economy is a common drawback among larger vehicles.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

A steplike recession in a wall. Also called setoff.
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Oct 19, 2023

Drawback

A partial refund of an import fee, as when goods are re-exported from the country that collected the fee.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

Any of a series of such recessions in the rise of a tall building.
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Oct 19, 2023

Drawback

The inhalation of a lungful of smoke from a cigarette.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

An automatically timed setting of a thermostat to a lower temperature, as in the home at night.
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Oct 19, 2023

Drawback

A loss of advantage, or deduction from profit, value, success, etc.; a discouragement or hindrance; objectionable feature.
The avarice of Henry VII . . . . must be deemed a drawback from the wisdom ascribed to him.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

An obstacle, delay, disadvantage, blow an adverse event which retards or prevents progress towards a desired outcome
After some initial setbacks, the expedition went safely on its way.
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Drawback

Money paid back or remitted; especially, a certain amount of duties or customs, sometimes the whole, and sometimes only a part, remitted or paid back by the government, on the exportation of the commodities on which they were levied.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

(US) The required distance between a structure and a road.
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Oct 19, 2023

Drawback

The quality of being a hindrance;
He pointed out all the drawbacks to my plan
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Setback

(architecture) A step-like recession in a wall.
Setbacks were initially used for structural reasons, but now are often mandated by land use codes.
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Oct 19, 2023

Drawback

A hindrance or impediment.
The only drawback to the software is its complexity.
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Setback

An offset to the temperature setting of a thermostat to cover a period when more or less heating is required than usual.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

A backset; a countercurrent; an eddy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

(archaic) A backset; a check; a repulse; a relapse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

A backset; a countercurrent; an eddy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

A reversal of progress in an endeavor; a reverse; a backset; a check; a repulse; a relapse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Setback

An unfortunate happening that hinders of impedes; something that is thwarting or frustrating
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Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can a drawback be eliminated?

Some drawbacks can be mitigated, but others are inherent and must be accepted.
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How is a setback different from a drawback?

A setback is an unexpected hindrance or delay, while a drawback is a known disadvantage.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can the same factor be both a drawback and a setback?

Rarely, as drawbacks are inherent disadvantages, while setbacks are external hindrances.
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Are setbacks always negative?

Setbacks are generally seen as negative but can offer opportunities for learning and growth.
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How can one overcome a setback?

Overcoming a setback often requires adaptability, problem-solving, and perseverance.
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Are drawbacks subjective?

Yes, what is a drawback for one person may not be for another.
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Dec 06, 2023

How do setbacks affect time management?

Setbacks often require reevaluation of timelines and priorities.
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Can setbacks lead to better outcomes?

Sometimes, as they can provide insights and opportunities to refine plans.
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What is a drawback?

A drawback is a disadvantage or negative aspect of something.
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Dec 06, 2023

Do setbacks occur in all projects?

Setbacks can occur in many projects but are not inevitable in every case.
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Can drawbacks be positive in any way?

Drawbacks are generally negative, but recognizing them helps in making informed decisions.
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Are setbacks a sign of failure?

Not necessarily; they are often natural parts of the progression and learning process.
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Is a drawback always apparent?

Most drawbacks are identifiable, though some may only become apparent after deeper analysis.
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Can a person's attitude turn a drawback into an advantage?

A positive attitude can help in dealing with drawbacks, but it doesn't change their nature.
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Are setbacks always unexpected?

Setbacks are often unexpected, but some can be anticipated and planned for.
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How should one assess drawbacks?

Assess drawbacks by considering their impact on goals and whether they can be mitigated.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can drawbacks deter people from pursuing a goal?

Yes, especially if the drawbacks outweigh the perceived benefits.
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How important is resilience in facing setbacks?

Resilience is crucial in overcoming setbacks and continuing progress.
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Should drawbacks be a major factor in decision-making?

Drawbacks should be considered, but not necessarily be the deciding factor.
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Can setbacks be avoided with better planning?

Good planning can reduce the likelihood of setbacks, but not all can be avoided.
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Dec 06, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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