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

  • 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 But unlike the previous two seasons, Leonard has not harbored as many injuries that prompted the Toronto Raptors and the L.A. Clippers to sit him in most practices. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "LeBron James, Joel Embiid? Of course, but other All-Stars not so easy," 18 Feb. 2021 Raghav still cannot hold up his head, sit, stand, talk, chew, or swallow. Sanath Kumar Ramesh, Max G. Bronstein, STAT, "Ultra-rare but not forgotten: New drug development paradigms to treat the rarest of diseases," 17 Feb. 2021 The organization made the decision to sit Andre Drummond for the final two games, something Bickerstaff believes is best for everyone involved. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers cap hellish road trip with 129-98 loss to Golden State Warriors," 16 Feb. 2021 Guests occupying seven rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn San Antonio Airport South hotel have been allowed to stay, while more than 100 other rooms sit empty. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio hotels sell out as residents without power and water seek refuge," 16 Feb. 2021 Minister Chiang insisted that Lin Bao sit beside him while all through that day a procession of subordinates entered and exited the conference room, receiving orders, issuing updates. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part IV: The Spratly Islands Ambush," 16 Feb. 2021 Bickerstaff also said the decision to sit Drummond came only after consulting both Drummond and his agent about the situation. Joe Stiglich, Star Tribune, "Draymond Green slams NBA over star players on trading block," 16 Feb. 2021 Alvin chief pilot Bruce Strickrott’s secret to slurping zoarcids is to park Alvin right next to the biggest cluster of tube worms and sit and wait. Sabrina Imbler, The Atlantic, "An Epic Journey to Adulthood Begins in the Intestines of a Deep-Sea Fish," 16 Feb. 2021 While cornerbacks Caleb Farley and Patrick Surtain II sit atop most Cowboys wish lists, there’s a real chance both are gone by the time Dallas goes on the clock. John Owning, Dallas News, "Pitfalls the Cowboys need to avoid in the 2021 NFL draft, like reaching for a defender at No. 10," 12 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Following a lengthy conversation between general manager Koby Altman, Drummond and agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports on Sunday afternoon, the sides mutually agreed to have Drummond sit while the front office looks for a trade. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers taking calls on Andre Drummond, but trade could be difficult," 15 Feb. 2021 The Bears were in Cover-2 and Vildor didn’t get great depth while also eyeing the underneath sit route. Brad Biggs,, "3 observations from rewatching the Chicago Bears’ Week 16 win, including the cornerback situation with Aaron Rodgers coming to town and major improvement in the red zone," 29 Dec. 2020 And yet this team invariably plays hard, and it must be noted Lynn and his staff had first-round QB Justin Herbert ready to play even though the initial plan was to let the No. 6 pick sit and watch. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL hot seat index: Five coaches who could be in trouble once 2020 season ends," 29 Dec. 2020 My sit spot is in a state of continual flux: Vines overtake shrubs, mushrooms sprout, the tide goes in and out. Sadie Dingfelder, Washington Post, "To cope with the current isolation, she sought refuge outdoors. She wasn’t alone in embracing the benefits.," 28 Dec. 2020 Of course, a key question remains: Where will Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sit? Dallas News, "AAC furniture swap: The Mavericks’ bench has moved, due to COVID-19," 17 Dec. 2020 There’s plenty of credit to go around for the turnaround of the Cleveland Browns, who with four games left in the regular season sit at 9-3 and can virtually lock in a playoff berth with a home win against the Ravens on Monday night. Daniel Oyefusi,, "For Browns GM Andrew Berry, path to NFL started in Bel Air — and nearly ended on Wall Street," 11 Dec. 2020 There may not be monstrous Missouri bucks in the woods, but there’s nobody out there and an evening sit with Levi may be just what the doctor ordered. Hunter Whirley, Outdoor Life, "When COVID-19 Ruins a Long-Awaited Hunting and Fishing Trip," 9 Dec. 2020 The Gophers missed 22 players in the Nov. 20 Purdue game, with about half for COVID-19 positive tests, albeit some from weeks ago with players still serving their 21-day sit-out per Big Ten policy. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, "Gophers football COVID-19 total hits 40 confirmed cases within program," 28 Nov. 2020

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

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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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 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

Nglish: Translation of sit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sit

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