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adjective sed·en·tary \ˈse-dən-ˌter-ē\

Simple Definition of sedentary

  • : doing or involving a lot of sitting : not doing or involving much physical activity

  • : staying or living in one place instead of moving to different places

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sedentary

  1. 1 :  not migratory :  settled <sedentary birds> <sedentary civilizations>

  2. 2a :  doing or requiring much sitting <a sedentary job>b :  not physically active <a sedentary lifestyle>

  3. 3 :  permanently attached <sedentary barnacles>

Examples of sedentary in a sentence

  1. Editing the dictionary is a sedentary job.

  2. The work is very sedentary.

  3. Their health problems were caused by their sedentary lifestyles.

  4. He became sedentary later on in his life.

Did You Know?

English speakers borrowed "sedentary" in the late 16th century from Middle French sedentaire, which in turn derives from Latin sedentarius. "Sedentarius," which means "of one that sits," is from the present participle of the verb sedēre, meaning "to sit." Other descendants of "sedēre" in English include "dissident," "insidious," "preside," "reside," and "subsidy." "Sedēre" is also the base of the rare word sedens, a noun meaning "a person who remains a resident of the place or region of his birth."

Origin and Etymology of sedentary

Middle French sedentaire, from Latin sedentarius, from sedent-, sedens, present participle of sedēre to sit — more at sit

First Known Use: 1598

Other Physiology Terms

Rhymes with sedentary

actuary, adversary, airy-fairy, ancillary, antiquary, apiary, arbitrary, aviary, axillary, bacillary, beriberi, bestiary, biliary, black raspberry, Bloody Mary, boysenberry, breviary, budgetary, calamari, calamary, candleberry, Canterbury, capillary, carpellary, cassowary, catenary, cautionary, cavitary, cemetery, centenary, certiorari, checkerberry, chinaberry, cometary, commentary, commissary, condottiere, coralberry, corollary, coronary, culinary, customary, dictionary, dietary, dignitary, dromedary, dysentery, elderberry, emissary, estuary, farkleberry, February, formulary, fragmentary, fritillary, functionary, funerary, honorary, huckleberry, intermarry, janissary, January, lamasery, lapidary, lectionary, legendary, legionary, lingonberry, literary, loganberry, luminary, mammillary, mandatary, maxillary, medullary, mercenary, miliary, military, millenary, milliary, millinery, missionary, momentary, monastery, mortuary, necessary, ordinary, ossuary, partridgeberry, pensionary, pigmentary, planetary, Pondicherry, prebendary, presbytery, pulmonary, quaternary, red mulberry, reliquary, rowanberry, salivary, salmonberry, salutary, sanctuary, sanguinary, sanitary, secondary, secretary, seminary, silverberry, solitary, sour cherry, stationary, stationery, statuary, subcontrary, sublunary, sugarberry, sumptuary, syllabary, temporary, tertiary, thimbleberry, Tipperary, Tom and Jerry, topiary, tributary, tutelary, Typhoid Mary, unitary, urinary, vestiary, Virgin Mary, visionary, voluntary, vulnerary, Waterbury, whortleberry, winterberry

SEDENTARY Defined for Kids


adjective sed·en·tary \ˈse-dən-ˌter-ē\

Definition of sedentary for Students

  1. :  doing much sitting :  not physically active

Medical Dictionary


adjective sed·en·tary \ˈsed-ən-ˌter-ē\

Medical Definition of sedentary

  1. :  doing or requiring much sitting :  characterized by a lack of physical activity <increased risk of heart disease for those with sedentary jobs>

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