\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for sit

Synonyms: Verb

set [chiefly dialect]

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Why have a bulky vase or pot sitting around, when your pretty plants could be nestled right within your kitchen table itself? Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Plants Grow Out of These Sleek Tables, and I’m Oddly into it," 12 Feb. 2019 From hot pots and pans to spilled juice to everyday wear and tear from touching, leaning, sitting, cutting... kitchen countertops take a beating. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "Countertops," 11 Feb. 2019 Once in the open half-kneeling position, sit your hips back toward your heel while reaching your left hand down and placing it on the floor in front of your left knee. Amy Marturana, SELF, "How to Do a Turkish Get-up," 8 Feb. 2019 Portable units sit aboveground and are made from fiberglass, polyethylene, or acrylic. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Buy a Hot Tub That Your Whole Family Will Enjoy," 30 Jan. 2019 In the past, sitting presidents have addressed the Senate, but not for a State of the Union address, and fewer than a dozen times since one of Washington’s inaugural speeches in 1793. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Trump Delays State of the Union Address After Duel With Pelosi," 24 Jan. 2019 Samsung showed off a new iteration of its ultra-ultrawide monitor that started the trend, in addition to one that can be pushed back to sit perfectly flat against the wall. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 Designed by David Thulstrup, the 4,300-square-foot loft sits above the offices of Danish furniture company Vipp and serves as a livable retail concept store for the brand. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Rent this cozy loft that doubles as a furniture showroom," 27 Dec. 2018 The top screen sits just above it and is recessed into the dashboard. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Love the hardware, hate the UI: The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid," 13 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On December 10, there was another sit-in in Pelosi’s office, this time with activists stretched out the door. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 The size alone will shock you, but really, thumbing through each season's issue is an experience unto itself, akin to somehow stumbling upon Gwyneth Paltrow's diary or, say, being asked to house-sit for Kim Kardashian West. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "12 Things Everyone Thinks When Flipping Through The Restoration Hardware Catalog," 2 Aug. 2018 However, concern for my son makes me nervous about allowing her to baby-sit, or even hold him. Amy Dickinson,, "Expectant parent worries about 'thirdhand smoke'," 20 May 2018 My in-laws take frequent vacations and ask my husband to dog-sit. Abigail Van Buren, Houston Chronicle, "Nurse knocked into emotional tailspin by cancer diagnosis," 30 Apr. 2018 And surprisingly, this current 24th cycle — which finds Banks restored to queen mother status after letting Rita Ora baby-sit for a year — isn’t showing its years (despite removing its maximum age cap). Michael Andor Brodeur,, "The queen mother of ‘America’s Next Top Model’," 12 Mar. 2018 In a new interview last week with the Today show's Natalie Morales (their first sit-down together since their 2018 divorce!) the former couple discussed the challenges of shooting season seven—and soon-to-be season eight. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Christina and Tarek El Moussa Just Gave Their First Joint Interview Since the Divorce," 20 Dec. 2018 For high-octane events (like weddings or a sit-down dinner) consider peppering in more diamonds. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "How to Make Your Boring LBD Feel New Again," 16 Nov. 2018 After city officials announced a proposal to site a modular facility in residential neighborhood in Marpole, the building where Richard Nuttall now lives, activists staged a sit-in to block it. Vernal Coleman, The Seattle Times, "Vancouver, B.C., bet on modular housing to ease homelessness. Could it work in Seattle?," 1 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sit

Dictionary Entries near sit





sit about



Statistics for sit

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sit

Spanish Central: Translation of sit

Nglish: Translation of sit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sit for Arabic Speakers

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 servile follower or underling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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