\ 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
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

Deputies said the child was sitting with his father and his father's friend in an open garage when two suspects approached them. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "2-year-old boy fatally shot, two men injured in home invasion in Spring," 3 July 2019 Iwami was sitting pretty with a 14.27 two-wave score (8.00 and 6.27), while Moss was in second with a 12.44 (6.67 and 5.77). Joe Haakenson,, "Nick Marshall reaches National Scholastic Surfing Assn. men's open semifinals," 2 July 2019 However, the gunman instead shot Ortiz, who was sitting near Fernández at a bar in the capital city of Santo Domingo on June 9 and was wearing clothing similar to Fernández's. Alex Sundby, CBS News, "Alleged mastermind in David Ortiz shooting claims in video he wasn't involved in botched murder-for-hire plot," 2 July 2019 Immediately sit back down into your squat and repeat. Rozalynn S. Frazier,, "This 30-Day Bodyweight Challenge Will Tone and Tighten Your Entire Body," 2 July 2019 Lush floral arrangements in complementary hues sat just behind each gown. Eliseé Browchuk, Vogue, "Couture Showgoers Attend a Cocktail Party Hosted in Honor of Schiaparelli’s New Artistic Director Daniel Roseberry," 2 July 2019 Usefully, Pashinyan is sitting on a reservoir of good will among the populace. Tom Ball, The New Republic, "How to Stage a Successful Revolution," 1 July 2019 According to a press release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Leigh Ann Zirkle told police that the couple was sitting on the back porch of their West Nashville home when an unknown man approached and asked for directions. Emily Brindley,, "GoFundMe raises thousands for survivor of Nashville stabbing, in which Connecticut man was a suspect," 30 June 2019 Even after the wound started to morph into a zigzagging scar, my running shoes sat on my closet floor, unmuddied. Katie O'reilly, Outside Online, "Running After Melanoma," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bacon and his pregnant wife, smoky-voiced singer Greta Keller, hosted a soiree that included cocktails for 150 guests followed by a sit-down supper for 50 at Castle Hill, their home in the Hollywood Hills. Wendy Grossman Kantor,, "Who killed the Masked Marvel?," 27 June 2019 But the business — which won a $50,000 top prize — evolved to be more of a sit-down restaurant than a casual bar. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "How to pitch a business in Detroit and win $100K," 27 June 2019 When Gilead asks Switzerland to act as a neutral party and negotiate with Canada for Nichole's return, June tries unsuccessfully to make a bargain for her daughter's safety in a charged sit-down with the Swiss authorities. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale," 27 June 2019 Trump tried to deflect questions about the Homestead shelter during a sit-down interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, one of the moderators for the debates. Skyler Swisher,, "‘They don’t belong here.’ Democratic candidates use Homestead migrant shelter as backdrop to blast Trump immigration policies.," 25 June 2019 During a sit-down interview with Time magazine, Trump showed the reporters a letter from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Colby Itkowitz, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump threatens reporter with prison time during interview," 22 June 2019 Cholodecki said there will be two menus, one that's concession-stand types of items and another that's more of a sit-down menu. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Dock at Bradford Beach opens Friday, joining MooSa's burgers and custard," 20 June 2019 Enjoy an early tee time, then relax afterward with cocktails, followed by a sit-down dinner and award ceremony. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County Business Briefs, June 20," 20 June 2019 American and Chinese negotiators are set to resume talks on Wednesday ahead of the sit-down. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Fed time; Trade optimism; Markets in wait," 19 June 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.

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

6 Jul 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 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

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).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!