catbird seat


Definition of catbird seat

: a position of great prominence or advantage

Did you know?

In the catbird seat was among the numerous folksy expressions that legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber used to delight listeners. Some say he invented the expression; others say that he dug it up from his Southern origins. But the truth may be far stranger than those rumors. In a 1942 short story titled "The Catbird Seat," James Thurber featured a character, Mrs. Barrows, who liked to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explained that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber. To Red, according to Joey, sitting in the catbird seat meant 'sitting pretty,' like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him. But, according to Barber's daughter, it was only after Barber read Thurber's story that he started using "in the catbird seat" himself.

Examples of catbird seat in a Sentence

your fluency in French should put you in the catbird seat for getting the Paris posting in the wake of the natural disaster, this obscure bureaucrat was suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into the catbird seat
Recent Examples on the Web In that battle, Aldi sits in the catbird seat, renowned for being one of the cheapest grocery stores around, having been named as Grocery Value Leader among U.S. grocery stores for the last ten years by Market Force Information. Pamela N. Danziger, Forbes, 24 June 2021 That’s the call from the catbird seat, where folks are furious about the lack of action on the diamond and at hitters who whiff at record paces. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 June 2021 The Falcons now sit in the catbird seat with the No. 4 pick., 27 Mar. 2021 Publicly the Communist Party acts like this market dominance puts it in the economic catbird seat. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2021 If the Buckeyes are eliminated from Big Ten title game contention, Indiana would be in the catbird seat in the Big Ten East. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Nov. 2020 Known as a top-notch recruiter and motivator, Orgeron impressively assembled a staff and a team — while adjusting his own coaching philosophy — to put the Tigers in the catbird seat. Edgar Thompson,, 8 Sep. 2020 Somebody in the catbird seat is Seven Hill Mayor Anthony D. Biasiotta. John Benson, cleveland, 4 Sep. 2020 Even with all of the congressional turnover — and the prospect that more could be coming — the GOP still sits in the catbird seat in Texas. Tom Benning, Dallas News, 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catbird seat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of catbird seat

1942, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of catbird seat was in 1942

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Dictionary Entries Near catbird seat

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catbird seat

cat block

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Cite this Entry

“Catbird seat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on catbird seat

Nglish: Translation of catbird seat for Spanish Speakers


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