1 of 2


: a conditioning exercise performed from a supine position by raising the torso to a sitting position and returning to the original position without using the arms or lifting the feet

sit up

2 of 2


sat up; sitting up; sits up

intransitive verb

: to rise from a lying to a sitting position
: to sit with the back erect
: to show interest, alertness, or surprise
sit up and take notice
: to stay up after the usual time for going to bed

Examples of sit-up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The moves included throwing punches while doing sit-ups, sparring at a fierce pace, dodging punches, and kicking her sparring partner in the abs. Korin Miller, Women's Health, 7 Sep. 2023 For sit-ups, male officers must do 37 in one minute and female officers 31. Gloria Casas, Chicago Tribune, 24 Aug. 2023 Sweating from push-ups, sit-ups and using a rowing machine is one thing, but a session at Hotworx is something else again. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 25 July 2023 Keeping up with a consistent weight lifting routine can be tough, but 15 minutes of crunches, planks, sit-ups, and push-ups can be transformational. Brian Metzler, Outside Online, 3 Apr. 2023 Here are 4 things to know and how to treat them If your abdominal muscles are not strong enough to do good sit-ups, begin with crunches (partial sit-ups). Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 25 May 2023 Oprea and Kelsea do Bosu ball throws (or crunches on a Bosu ball while tossing a weighted ball to a partner), sit-up claps, side planks, and elbow planks. Olivia Evans, Women's Health, 3 June 2023 Think sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, crunches or squats, as examples. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 27 May 2023 In the clip, the actress completes her full-body workout, which featured weight lifting, mountain climbers, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, and more before finishing with some stretches. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 17 May 2023
Liv’s plan is pushed off course, and the resulting action and violence are shocking enough to make the viewer sit up just a bit straighter. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 14 Sep. 2023 The village of concrete and thatched roof dwellings sits up on a dune, so people there can catch cooling breezes in the summer. Annie Gowen, Niko Kommenda and Saiyna Bashir, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Sep. 2023 Keep eyes on weight, press into right arm, and sit up, coming onto right forearm. Women's Health, 18 Aug. 2023 The passing lane down the line was open, and the ball sat up for a clean strike. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Somebody who makes the ladies sit up and take notice. Clover Hope, Pitchfork, 6 Sep. 2023 Delpit, who missed his entire rookie season with a ruptured Achilles, lay on his back in pain and then sat up on the field after the collision as trainers rushed out to tend to him. cleveland, 23 Aug. 2023 It’s emphasized when male leadership sits up on the stand, perusing and lording over their congregation while their wives tend to small children in the pews. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Aug. 2023 So Staples sat up all night with the tiny gorilla sleeping on his chest. Hilary Whiteman, CNN, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sit-up.' 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


1900, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sit-up was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near sit-up

Cite this Entry

“Sit-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an exercise done by lying on the back and rising up to a sitting position by bending forward at the waist without lifting the feet and returning to the original position
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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