: employing or based on personal experience, judgment, and effort rather than technological aids or formal theory
seat-of-the-pants navigation
a seat-of-the-pants decision

Examples of seat-of-the-pants in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And now, in its new 4K glory, this scrappy seat-of-the-pants gem is alive with gorgeous ghosts, among them a number of performers who would never again appear onscreen. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Jan. 2024 As Andy Greene’s oral history makes clear, the classic result belies the seat-of-the-pants execution. Longreads, 4 Aug. 2023 Ready or not, that’s what Lagos and the Band on the Run sessions were about to give him, his wife and Laine — one dramatic complication after another, threatening to undermine an endeavor that was more shambolic and seat-of-the-pants than the average McCartney fan realized back in the ‘70s. Andy Meek, Billboard, 2 May 2023 In the predigital age, that often meant seat-of-the-pants improvising. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'seat-of-the-pants.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of seat-of-the-pants was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near seat-of-the-pants

Cite this Entry

“Seat-of-the-pants.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seat-of-the-pants. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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