The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex.

(My question) What does 'had been long settled' mean?

Here my ideas.

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I am not sure I follow your diagrams, but to be 'settled' is a way of saying you live somewhere, but with more permanence than the word 'live' might ordinarily imply.

At the moment my wife and I live in Berkshire. We have been in the same house for 28 years. Our children attended the local schools nearby, but are now moved away. We know the neighbours well and have friends in the village. People stop and speak to us in the High Street and some shopkeepers know us by name. We belong to organisations in the local town. Thus we can be said to be SETTLED in Berkshire.

However, as I write, we are living temporarily in Manchester to help our daughter with her young son whilst she travels with her job. We have a short-term lease of six months on a small house. We LIVE in Manchester but we are not SETTLED in Manchester. If we uprooted everything from Berkshire and moved lock, stock and barrel to the Manchester area, we would become SETTLED in Manchester.

Jane Austen meant that the family of Dashwood had been long-settled in Sussex. Their living and belonging there had been over a long period.


It means they had lived there for a long time.


Settled is not just referring to a one-time act of settling, but to an ongoing condition. They settled in the district, and since then they have remained settled in the district. Meaning, they permanently live in that district.


The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex.


The family of Dashwood had been (for) (a) long (time) settled (down) in Sussex.

  • Thanks @Bie for the thanks. You can accept an answer and up vote it also. An up vote is just like a thanks but also shows this to others. – DisplayName Mar 30 '14 at 9:35
  • I clicked the button but it wouldn't click! "Vote Up requires 15 reputation" The button says this every time. I'm sorry. – Bie Mar 30 '14 at 14:40

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