\ 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
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 adverbthe 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

Verb 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 In it, Meghan Markle sits on a sofa, baby Archie Mountbatten Windsor in her arms. Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Birthday Tribute to Prince Harry Included a New Photo of Baby Archie," 16 Sep. 2019 Advertising The Energy Department site sits atop the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, a Lake Erie-size underground body of water that supplies cities and farms in the region with water. Keith Ridler, The Seattle Times, "Agency could keep Three Mile Island nuclear debris in Idaho," 16 Sep. 2019 Down a steep stairway and through a cavern of rooms, sits the Rothy’s design studio. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "How Sustainable Startup Rothy’s Found Success Turning Recycled Water Bottles into Fashionable Footwear," 15 Sep. 2019 The new house — a charming traditional of nearly 4,000 square feet — sits back from the street and is fronted by horseshoe driveway. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Actors Topher and Ashley Grace buy in La Cañada Flintridge," 13 Sep. 2019 Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon: The observation tower at this preserve sits between some of the 444-acre property’s restored beech maple forest and wooded wetlands. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "See fall colors in Wisconsin from above on these observation towers," 13 Sep. 2019 But the headphone jack now sits on the left edge instead of the right. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th-gen mini-review: Minor updates made to a stellar machine," 13 Sep. 2019 Ryan Tedder, normally one-third of the Songland judging panel, sits with his OneRepublic bandmate Zach Filkins for the finale and has tunes presented to him for a change. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'Songland' Season 1 Finale Recap: Ryan Tedder Lands a New OneRepublic Single," 12 Sep. 2019 The Clareinch Post Office sits between a high school and a police station and opposite a pet store called Pets Aquaria, on a busy road in Cape Town’s southern suburbs. Rosa Lyster, The New Yorker, "The Death of Uyinene Mrwetyana and the Rise of South Africa’s #AmINext Movement," 12 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some 200 high school students staged a sit-in Saturday at a downtown public square. Time, "Conflict Breaks Out in Hong Kong Mall Amid Counter Protests," 14 Sep. 2019 Dozens of demonstrators were arrested during a sit-in at a Microsoft store in New York on Saturday. CBS News, "Dozens arrested during ICE protest at New York Microsoft store," 14 Sep. 2019 In early June, talks were suspended after a deadly military clampdown on the protesters’ main sit-in in the capital left more than a hundred killed. Washington Post, "Sudanese on the streets, call for new judicial appointments," 13 Sep. 2019 Many students boycotted class to attend a larger sit-in later in the day in the city’s Central district, where those who joined the call for a general city-wide strike were also gathered. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Photos: Hong Kong’s students went on strike in support of protests," 2 Sep. 2019 Many high school students have also negotiated with school administrators to participate in sit-ins or to set aside classrooms for self-study sessions or silent protests on the first day of school. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Hong Kong Protesters Squeeze Access to the Airport," 1 Sep. 2019 The airport, following a sit-in and an unprecedented two-day shutdown, is up and running again. The Economist, "The turmoil in Hong Kong stems in part from its unaffordable housing," 22 Aug. 2019 Amnesty International and Hong Kong’s Progressive Lawyers Group have condemned excessive use of force, and dozens of medical staffers from Hong Kong hospitals have staged sit-ins to protest police brutality. Los Angeles Times, "Hong Kong’s tough strategy against protests — and how it could backfire," 20 Aug. 2019 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

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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Statistics for sit

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for sit

The first known use of sit was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sit


How to pronounce sit (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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