\ ˈsit How to pronounce sit (audio) \
sat\ ˈsat How to pronounce sat (audio) \; sitting

Definition of sit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to rest on the buttocks or haunches sit in a chair often used with down
2 : to occupy a place as a member of an official body sit in Congress
3 : to hold a session : be in session for official business
4 : to cover eggs for hatching : brood
5a : to take a position for having one's portrait painted or for being photographed
b : to serve as a model
6 archaic : to have one's dwelling place : dwell
7a : to lie or hang relative to a wearer the collar sits awkwardly
b : to affect one with or as if with weight the food sat heavily on his stomach
8 : lie, rest a kettle sitting on the stove
9a : to have a location the house sits well back from the road
b of wind : to blow from a certain direction
10 : to remain inactive or quiescent the car sits in the garage
11 : to take an examination
12 : babysit
13 : to please or agree with one used with with and an adverbthe decision did not sit well with me

transitive verb

1 : to cause to be seated : place on or in a seat often used with down
2 : to sit on (eggs)
3 : to keep one's seat on sit a horse
4 : to provide seats or seating room for
sit on
1 : to hold deliberations concerning
3 : to delay action or decision concerning
4 : to wait or be ready for (a specific pitch) in baseball
sit on one's hands
1 : to withhold applause : fail to show approval or enthusiasm
2 : to fail to take expected or appropriate action
sit pretty
: to be in a highly favorable situation
sit tight
1 : to maintain one's position without change
2 : to remain quiet in or as if in hiding
sit under
: to attend religious service under the instruction or ministrations of also : to attend the classes or lectures of



Definition of sit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the manner in which a garment fits
2 : an act or period of sitting

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Synonyms for sit

Synonyms: Verb

  • set
  • [chiefly dialect]
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Examples of sit in a Sentence

Verb He was sitting in a chair next to the window. She sat across from me during dinner. The children sat cross-legged on the floor playing a game. Are you going to sit there and watch TV all day? Don't just sit there—do something! She walked around the table and sat across from me. She sat the toddler in the chair. The cat likes to sit by the window. The bird sat on the ledge. The limousine is sitting outside.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That's not all that the Alaska could one day compete against, since traditional automakers are not sitting this fight out. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Henrik Fisker Teases, or Accidentally Posts, Upcoming Alaska Electric Truck," 12 Feb. 2020 The way my toddler Khalil, sitting next to me in bed, my left arm wrapped around him, caused shooting electric nerve jolts to run down my body. Jessica Slice, Glamour, "What Are You Doing Right Now? I’m in Chronic Pain," 12 Feb. 2020 Rather than sitting at staring at your phones, couples should break their routine and try something different. Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., The Conversation, "A 4-step maintenance plan to help keep your relationship going strong," 11 Feb. 2020 The hectic style of play under Setien -- often chaotic but always thrilling -- is a stark contrast to that of former coach Ernesto Valverde, whose more methodical approach didn't sit well with many fans. Matias Grez, CNN, "Lionel Messi puts out yet another Barcelona fire with a hat-trick of assists," 10 Feb. 2020 As the hackers plotted various strategies for swinging the results and sowing distrust in the nation’s voting process, a man in his late-30s sat at the head of the table, weighing in on each idea. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Another 2020 election simulation ends in chaos," 10 Feb. 2020 Anyone sitting at the top of the Democrat ticket could wind up winning the general election. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Joe Biden Is Unfit for the Democratic Nomination," 10 Feb. 2020 My dad, who was a political consultant, coming home late and sitting down at the dinner table (four hours after the rest of us) to bemoan the state of a campaign. Hilary Cadigan, Bon Appétit, "For The Circus Host Alex Wagner, There’s No Such Thing as Food Without Politics," 6 Feb. 2020 Yelich said, sitting at a corner table at Starbucks after a workout last month. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Christian Yelich Is a Baseball Star. He Wants to Be So Much More.," 4 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On a visit to Las Vegas, his sit-down restaurant slipped a laminated card in his menu soliciting a 15% to 20% tip. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Is tipping on the way out? Here's why more travelers are joining the 'do not tip' movement," 15 Feb. 2020 My family didn’t have the means for regular sit-down restaurant dinners, so a visit to La Familia was a rare treat. Patricia Escárcega, Bon Appétit, "It’s Time We Give the Mexican Combo Platter the Credit It Deserves," 13 Feb. 2020 Fox interviewer Chris Wallace said Romney's office called on Tuesday to set up the sit-down. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Right-wing media condemn Mitt Romney after GOP senator casts vote to convict Trump," 5 Feb. 2020 The moment came in an interview, published Friday, with members of The New York Times’ Editorial Board, which has been conducting a series of sit-downs with Democratic primary candidates. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Is Joe Biden a Climate Radical Now?," 18 Jan. 2020 Soot and ashes still littered the ground where security forces burned the tents of the protesters who staged a sit-in. Author: Sarah El Deeb And Andrea Rosa, Anchorage Daily News, "Violence escalates in Beirut as protesters clash with police," 19 Jan. 2020 That October, King was arrested during a sit-in to protest the segregation of an Atlanta department store’s eating areas. Time, "Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Republican or a Democrat? The Answer Is Complicated," 17 Jan. 2020 He was arrested six times in 1963 and 1964 and was twice convicted of unlawful assembly and disturbing the peace during sit-ins against auto dealers’ racial practices. Bob Egelko,, "Former SF DA Terence Hallinan — a brawler and civil rights fighter — dies at age 83," 17 Jan. 2020 But in the end, a tool that made broadcasting everything from Black Lives Matter protests to the Syrian refugee crisis to a sit-in by members of the United States House of Representatives would also change the world. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, "The best tech of the last decade," 27 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sit.' 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 sit


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sit


Middle English sitten, from Old English sittan; akin to Old High German sizzen to sit, Latin sedēre, Greek hezesthai to sit, hedra seat

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Time Traveler for sit

Time Traveler

The first known use of sit was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sit

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sit


How to pronounce sit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sit

: to be in a position in which your bottom is resting on a chair, the ground, etc., especially with your back upright
: to begin to sit : to put yourself in a sitting position
: to cause (someone) to be seated : to put (someone) in a sitting position


\ ˈsit How to pronounce sit (audio) \
sat\ ˈsat \; sitting

Kids Definition of sit

1 : to rest upon the part of the body where the hips and legs join : to rest on the buttocks or hindquarters We sat and waited on a bench. The dog sat by the fire.
2 : to put the buttocks down on a surface I sat down to write a letter.
3 : to cause to be seated He sat the baby in the chair.
4 : perch entry 2 The bird sat on a branch.
5 : to be located or stay in a place or position A vase sits on the table.
6 : to provide seats for The car sits five.
7 : to hold a place as a member of an official group She was elected to sit in Congress.
8 : to hold a session The court sat last month.
9 : to pose for a portrait or photograph
10 : babysit
sat; sitting

Legal Definition of sit

1 : to occupy a place as a member of an official or formal body sit in Congress sit on a board of directors
2 : to hold a session : conduct official business the court sits in the state capital

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More from Merriam-Webster on sit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sit

Spanish Central: Translation of sit

Nglish: Translation of sit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sit for Arabic Speakers

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