\ 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

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Synonyms for sit

Synonyms: Verb

set [chiefly dialect]

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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

Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles: Key Injuries Dodgers 3B Justin Turner (ankle) was scratched Tuesday after sitting Sunday. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles odds, picks and betting tips," 11 Sep. 2019 Rogers' offering was one of the most awaited during the spring 2020 shows, and a few big name designers sat front row, seemingly as a sign of support. Channing Hargrove,, "Christopher John Rogers Proves He Is A Designer’s Designer," 8 Sep. 2019 Family members can also video chat with relatives and friends using the 720p Webcam that sits atop the display. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: How to buy a Chromebook, plus our best picks," 7 Sep. 2019 The photo features Hailey sitting casually in an oversize sweatshirt with her hair up, looking fresh-faced. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Hailey Bieber Goes Makeup-Free in New Photo and Now People Are Accusing Her of "Having Work Done"," 6 Sep. 2019 Per Genis’ request, city staff added a memorandum to the proposal so that the lots where the Plant will sit will remain linked and cannot be sold separately. Daily Pilot, "The Plant commercial-residential project to take root in Costa Mesa after council gives OK," 4 Sep. 2019 The fire broke out as the boat sat anchored in Platt’s Harbor off Santa Cruz Island. Time, "Search for Survivors on California Diving Boat Called Off as 34 People Presumed Dead," 3 Sep. 2019 The fire broke out as the boat sat anchored in Platt’s Harbor off Santa Cruz Island. Stefanie Dazio, Twin Cities, "Searchers look for 9 missing in California boat fire, 25 die," 3 Sep. 2019 He was meant to have his name emblazoned in black under the list of economics majors, his portrait sitting snugly in the yearbook among the rest of the class of 2016. Rebecca Tan, Longreads, "Paul Clarke Wants to Live," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New decorations inside make the beloved southern fast food joint feel more like a sit-down restaurant. Anna Beahm |, al, "Homewood Jack’s reopens with a new look," 9 Sep. 2019 Read our exclusive sit-down with the sartorial star and take a look at her coveted Jordan collabs below. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Our September "It Girl" Is Streetstyle Maven Aleali May," 28 Aug. 2019 These scandals raised a furor in the British press and House of Commons in 2011 and prompted a sit-down with the queen, Vanity Fair and other outlets reported. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Prince Charles knew Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein was a ‘disaster waiting to happen’," 14 Aug. 2019 Boylan was one of several people arrested a decade ago for refusing to leave a U.S. senator’s office as part of a sit-in advocating for single-payer health care. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "In Men, It’s Parkinson’s. In Women, It’s Hysteria.," 23 Aug. 2019 Her program highlights included a sit spin and a backward catch foot spiral., "Harford mother-daughter skaters medal at State Games of America," 23 Aug. 2019 So a sit-in protest blockading the lobby and walkways could shut it down very quickly. C.r., The Economist, "Why Hong Kong’s Airport was a good target for protesters," 16 Aug. 2019 The nature of the airport protests this week represent an escalation from a three-day sit-in this past weekend. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Protesters Return to Hong Kong Airport to Apologize for Flight Chaos," 14 Aug. 2019 The airport demonstration began as a peaceful anti-government sit-in last Friday. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong protesters effectively forced the airport to shut down," 12 Aug. 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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Learn More about sit

Dictionary Entries near sit





sit about



Statistics for sit

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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 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

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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