1 of 2


: an act of occupying seats in a racially segregated establishment in organized protest against discrimination
: an act of sitting in the seats or on the floor of an establishment as a means of organized protest

sit in

2 of 2


sat in; sitting in; sits in

intransitive verb

: to take part in or be present at a session of music or discussion as a visitor
often used with on
invited to sit in on a rehearsal
: to participate in a sit-in

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Khan claimed in a tweet Monday that the sit-in is being orchestrated to remove the chief justice. Munir Ahmed,, 15 May 2023 Activists launch a sit-in, and the ensuing police response spawns a wider movement, and in turn, a more sprawling crackdown. Mikhail Klimentov, Washington Post, 13 May 2023 As the news of the arrest spread, about 4,000 of Khan’s supporters stormed the official residence of the top regional commander in Lahore, smashing windows and doors, damaging furniture and staging a sit-in as troops there retreated to avoid violence. Munir Ahmed And Riazat Butt, Chicago Tribune, 9 May 2023 In 2019, Hopkins students and others staged a monthlong sit-in at Hopkins’ Garland Hall over the issue; the demonstration ended May 8 with seven arrests. Sabrina Leboeuf, Baltimore Sun, 9 May 2023 The decision to stop debate spurred an immediate protest, with dozens of LGBTQ Texans and their allies staging an impromptu sit-in in the Capitol halls. Allie Morris, Dallas News, 1 May 2023 Late in the hearing, Republican Mike Braun of Indiana spiced things up by revealing that Su was at one time a student activist who participated in sit-ins as a Stanford undergraduate and as a law student at Harvard. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 20 Apr. 2023 Both are quick to acknowledge their civil rights-era forebears such as Diane Nash and John Lewis, who led sit-ins to desegregate Nashville businesses. Emily Cochrane Jon Cherry, New York Times, 14 Apr. 2023 The barrier remained for decades, even as Morgan State students fought for civil rights in the 1960s, staging one of the nation’s first anti-segregation sit-ins at the Northwood Shopping Center across the street from the campus. Char Adams, NBC News, 12 Apr. 2023
Judges have reported that people who struggle with both diagnoses sit in jail for months because there is no appropriate place to send them. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Apr. 2023 Elsewhere, Corden took to plumping the couch cushions in Kris' office, helping her out on a business call and even tried out sitting in the confessional chair for an episode of The Kardashians. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 12 Apr. 2023 How Do Different Types of Insulin Work? Taking Ozempic Alongside Oral Medications Ozempic slows down stomach emptying, meaning food sits in the body longer. Laura Hensley, Verywell Health, 12 Apr. 2023 The teen was sitting in the passenger seat of a car with another individual around 10:30 p.m. on Vermont Avenue and 7th Street when an unknown man approached the vehicle and demanded his property, said a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2023 The actor had to sit in hair and makeup for up to five hours daily to transform into the ogre-like character. Brittany Natale, Men's Health, 11 Apr. 2023 The cheapest tickets in the lower level were priced at $73, while those willing to spend to sit in the first few rows will need to spend upwards of $600. Drake Bentley, Journal Sentinel, 11 Apr. 2023 The flattering, wide fold-over waistband is comfortable enough to sit in for long hours, and additional side pockets add to the overall functionality of this ankle-length skirt. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 10 Apr. 2023 Both For All Moonkind and the Secure World Foundation are official observer organizations at COPUOS and are allowed to sit in on meetings. Jon Kelvey, Popular Science, 10 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sit-in.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1936, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1936, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sit-in was in 1936

Dictionary Entries Near sit-in

Cite this Entry

“Sit-in.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an act of sitting in seats or on the floor (as in a restaurant or office) as a means of organized protest

More from Merriam-Webster on sit-in

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