I have just read the following sentence in an article from the "The Guardian" newspaper:

The crisis that toppled Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, last month has settled into a political conflict rather than a struggle on the streets.

What does "settle into" mean here? https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/settle-into says that it means (1) "to become familiar with a new way of life, place, or job" or (2) "to make yourself comfortable in a place because you are going to stay there for a long time", but I don't see any of those meanings in the above sentence.

1 Answer 1


All the meanings are rather idiomatic and metaphorical. When you start a new job you might have to do lots of special things: learn a new system, go and do paperwork with HR, have a welcome meeting with the CEO etc. When you have settled into the job, it means that you are now doing the everyday normal (boring) work of the job.

So if the "crisis" has settled into a political conflict it means that there don't seem to be new surprises. This is now a regular piece of South American political conflict and not something new.

Other examples:

The new database has settled into our systems and is now serving 1000 queries a second.

The changes to the education system have settled into our schools and teachers are now delivering lessons within the new framework.

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