\ 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

Kaepernick decided to sit and then kneel during the National Anthem before several 2016 NFL preseason and regular-season games to protest the police shootings of black men and other social injustices faced by African-Americans. Darran Simon, CNN, "Jay-Z's Roc Nation and NFL join forces for music and social justice," 14 Aug. 2019 Over the years, State Farm gradually moved its operations out of the elegant building, which has sat vacant since 2018. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "State Farm’s Art Deco former headquarters at risk of demolition," 14 Aug. 2019 Showrunner Bruce Miller sat down with to dig into June's newfound ruthlessness, how the very different deaths of Commander Winslow and Eleanor Lawrence impacted her, and his plans for Season 4. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Showrunner Breaks Down "Ruthless'" Season 3 Finale," 14 Aug. 2019 This is powerful and heartbreaking: DC sat down with us for 3 hours in December to talk about his journey. Andy Nesbitt, For The Win, "UFC champ Daniel Cormier shares heartbreaking details of his daughter's death in 2003," 11 Aug. 2019 Dan also had a chance to sit back and reflect on his role in our breakup. Kimberly Goad, Marie Claire, "3 Women on Why They Got Back With Their Ex," 9 Aug. 2019 The publicity that came with the success of his books and film has not sat easily with him. The Economist, "Kevin Kwan, the quiet man behind “Crazy Rich Asians”," 9 Aug. 2019 The Salvation Army has 13 cooling stations across Dallas-Fort Worth, open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The stations serve anyone and offer free water bottles and a cool area to sit down. Jesus Jimenez, Dallas News, "‘The doors are open’: City cooling stations are ready as heat wave broils Dallas-Fort Worth," 8 Aug. 2019 When a terrorist attack kills the sitting president and his cabinet, Kirkman—the secretary of Housing and Urban Development—is the highest-ranking government official left alive. Matthew De Silva, Quartzy, "“Designated Survivor” was the political drama conservatives needed to watch," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Virtually every day, pro-democracy demonstrators have blocked roads, staged sit-ins in public plazas and marched down busy thoroughfares. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "China won’t turn Hong Kong’s protests into another Tiananmen Square. At least, not yet.," 14 Aug. 2019 Although the sit-ins were peaceful until then, a viral video showed protesters swarming a police officer following the escalation. Catherine Kim, Vox, "Vox Sentences: All flights canceled," 14 Aug. 2019 One day, after seeing a shy black girl ignored, Kendi staged an impromptu sit-in at chapel. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, "The Fight to Redefine Racism," 12 Aug. 2019 The sit-in escalated on May 1, when students locked down the building, chained the doors shut, covered the windows and forced the administration building to close during the final week of the university’s spring semester. Catherine Rentz,, "Johns Hopkins professor fired after attempted sabotage of student sit-in over private police force," 10 Aug. 2019 The lunch-counter sit-ins had begun in Greensboro a month earlier and were spreading across the state. Tom Verducci,, "The Hard, Historic Roads That Lead to Baseball's Magic Number: .400," 8 Aug. 2019 In June, security forces violently dispersed the protesters' main sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, killing dozens of people and plunging the fragile transition into crisis. NBC News, "Sudanese activists, army finalize power-sharing deal after coup and mass protests," 3 Aug. 2019 Gunn said one thing that was stressed during the rallies was the importance of keeping the sit-ins nonviolent. al, "UNA’s first black student (and newest board of trustees member) reflects on historic role," 29 July 2019 Throughout the day, 26 African Americans and six white protesters would come into the restaurant for a peaceful sit-in. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "A beat cop, a fateful shooting and the moments that shaped Phoenix's history," 17 July 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

17 Aug 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).


not constant or steady

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