sedentary

adjective
sed·​en·​tary | \ ˈse-dᵊn-ˌter-ē How to pronounce sedentary (audio) \

Definition of sedentary

1 : not migratory : settled sedentary birds sedentary civilizations
2a : doing or requiring much sitting a sedentary job
b : not physically active a sedentary lifestyle
3 : permanently attached sedentary barnacles

Keep scrolling for more

Sit and Learn About Sedentary

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."

Examples of sedentary in a Sentence

Editing the dictionary is a sedentary job. The work is very sedentary. Their health problems were caused by their sedentary lifestyles. He became sedentary later on in his life.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The world is changing: People are living longer than ever before, and for the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural areas, making lifestyles more sedentary and the environment worse. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "Heart disease used to be an ailment of the rich. But it’s now striking the world’s poor.," 15 Oct. 2018 That has caused me to become very sedentary pretty much all day and night. Casey Johnston, SELF, "Ask a Swole Woman: Can I Start Lifting Weights If I Feel Really Out of Shape?," 18 Sep. 2018 For example, a recent study shows folks who become more sedentary during middle age (habit change) exhibit decreased conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness and extroversion (four of the big five personality traits). Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "People can change if they put in sustained hard work," 8 June 2018 Khan said attracting younger players might be easy since bridge offers sedentary thrills, perhaps like computer games. Stephen Wade, Fox News, "Playing bridge at the Asian Games: 'Athletics of the mind'," 22 Aug. 2018 When daily life is full of sedentary office meetings and digital screen fatigue, getting into nature means putting life back into motion. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Way To Spend 72 Hours at Jackson Hole," 31 July 2018 To find out, scientists from the University of North Dakota and other institutions decided to invite 31 overweight, sedentary men and women to a lab for measurements of their resting metabolic rate and body composition. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Exercise May Aid in Weight Loss. Provided You Do Enough.," 4 July 2018 Such symptoms can lead to problems when engaging in sedentary activities such as reading or watching a movie. Rene Hernandez-cardenache, Psy.d., M.s. Ed., miamiherald, "A focus on distraction: A closer look at adult ADHD," 2 July 2018 The sedentary ache of my body on cold mornings with the company of an alert chocolate Lab at my side for hours in the duck blind is the ultimate sustained focus and harmony. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "How the Cow Face Pose can make you a better duck hunter," 19 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of sedentary

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sedentary

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sedentary

Share sedentary

Listen to Our Podcast about sedentary

Statistics for sedentary

Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sedentary

The first known use of sedentary was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sedentary

sedentary

adjective

English Language Learners 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

sedentary

adjective
sed·​en·​tary | \ ˈse-dᵊn-ˌter-ē How to pronounce sedentary (audio) \

Kids Definition of sedentary

: doing much sitting : not physically active

sedentary

adjective
sed·​en·​tary | \ ˈsed-ᵊn-ˌter-ē How to pronounce sedentary (audio) \

Medical Definition of sedentary

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sedentary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sedentary

Spanish Central: Translation of sedentary

Nglish: Translation of sedentary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sedentary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sedentary

What made you want to look up sedentary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!