\ ˈsit \
sat\ˈsat \; 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

b : perch, roost

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 adverb the 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

be, bear, lie, stand

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Examples of sit in a Sentence


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

Kentucky coach John Calipari was in attendance for one of Hurt's games on Friday, sitting courtside. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "He has local ties, but U of L faces tough competition for Matthew Hurt," 14 July 2018 That was why the raiders of the 1980s found troves of pension money that seemed to be just sitting there, waiting to be captured. Mary Williams Walsh,, "Jeremy Gold, 75, actuary who warned of pension crisis," 14 July 2018 Among them was Tiger Woods, who was sitting with her family and friends, and Meghan Markle, dutchess of Sussex, who was rooting for her from the royal box. Sam Farmer,, "Humble Kerber Ends Serena's Comeback Trail In Wimbledon Final," 14 July 2018 Los Angeles FC, which thumped Orlando City 4-1 last week, is in its inaugural season and currently sits second in the Western Conference. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "James O’Connor is finally forcing Orlando City’s players to look in the mirror," 14 July 2018 And Duncan said Trump's criticism of May's Brexit plan is out-of date, with a more detailed white paper being released since Trump sat down for the interview Wednesday in Brussels. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump's bombshell interview with UK tabloid threatens to overshadow visit to Britain," 13 July 2018 Buy Photo After Jimi Patrick died, Sharon Patrick sat around the kitchen table, eating pizza with his friends. Erin Mccarthy,, "Jimi Patrick: A funny, hardworking person who lived to help others," 13 July 2018 Companies like Wag! and Rover connect enthusiastic animal-aficionados with dog-owners interested in hiring people for day-to-day services like dog walks, or long-term services, like pet-sitting. Alessandra Puccio /, NBC News, "Finding your (hidden) value," 13 July 2018 The big showcase destination, the lost city of Atlantis, has been converted to a casino, where winged beasts and dark lords sit dead-eyed in front of flashing slot machines. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Monsters go on vacation in 'Hotel Transylvania 3'," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Last year, for instance, growers from Tamil Nadu in the far south mounted a dramatic sit-in near the parliament in Delhi, the capital. The Economist, "India’s government claims to subsidise farmers, but actually hurts them," 12 July 2018 Black college students who engaged in peaceful sit-ins at lunch counters that denied them service because of the color of their skin were criticized for behavior that, however passive, appeared provocative to defenders of the status quo. Peniel E. Joseph, Washington Post, "America’s nonviolent civil rights movement was considered uncivil by critics at the time," 4 July 2018 The sit-in lasted more than two hours before Capitol Police charged the protestors with unlawfully demonstrating. Gina Martinez, Time, "Thousands Are Expected to Attend the Families Belong Together Marches Across the U.S. Here's What to Know," 29 June 2018 The competition to build the most over-the-top spec house just got an impressive new entrant: A $35 million home in Los Angeles with a sit-in shark tank. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "Hollywood Home Lists at $35 Million—8 Sharks and Tank Included," 28 June 2018 Authorities were likely alarmed when hundreds of veterans materialized in Beijing in 2016 for a sit-in in front of PLA headquarters. Gerry Shih, The Seattle Times, "Large army veteran protests in China pose challenge for Xi," 26 June 2018 Verratti is understood to be very unhappy after having a sit-down with new boss Thomas Tuchel and Mino Raiola, his agent has since informed United that the player could be available., "Man Utd Reportedly Offered Marco Verratti Following Discouraging Talks With New Boss Thomas Tuchel," 25 June 2018 Sponsored by Remy Martin, the Mane Choice, Morgan Stanley, and Beats by Dre, the sit-down event featured a preliminary cocktail reception and finished with a truly inspirational and energetic awards presentation. Ashley Lyle, Billboard, "Culture Creators' Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch Honors Sylvia Rhone, Shawn Gee, Charles D. King & More," 23 June 2018 There’s the acclaimed Grille and Pub, featuring a sit-down restaurant known for some of the best cuisine in the area. Brent Kennedy, The Aegis, "Mountain Branch Golf Club," 22 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near sit





sit about



Statistics for sit

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sit

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

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More Definitions for sit



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 \
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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Comments on sit

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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