sit·​ting | \ˈsi-tiŋ \

Definition of sitting 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act of one that sits

b : a single occasion of continuous sitting (as for a portrait or meal)

2a : a brooding over eggs for hatching

b : setting sense 6

3 : session a sitting of the legislature



Definition of sitting (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : that is setting a sitting hen

2 : occupying a judicial, legislative, or executive seat : being in office

3 : easily hit or played a sitting target

4a : used in or for sitting a sitting position

b : performed while sitting a sitting shot

Examples of sitting in a Sentence


I got through the book in one sitting. He finished the portrait in one sitting. We'll eat at the second sitting. We have reservations for the 5:30 sitting.


a sitting member of Parliament
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Now that doesn’t mean a sitting president, of course, can’t be impeached. Jen Kirby, Vox, "7 legal experts on how Kavanaugh views executive power — and what it could mean for Mueller," 11 July 2018 Besides making a call, a president to send American troops into harm's way, this is now the most important decision a sitting president can make. Fox News, "Sekulow: Kavanaugh will be a brilliant Supreme Court justice," 10 July 2018 My situation is unprecedented because never in the history of the United States has a sitting president used the Oval Office for something like this. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, "Pop Quiz: Comedian Kathy Griffin on her comeback, the C-word and that Trump photo," 6 June 2018 The Supreme Court’s 1997 decision in Clinton v. Jones rejected the argument for immunity or postponement, and decided that a sitting president could be sued civilly. Tom Ginsburg, Fortune, "Can the President Be Indicted? Yes, But Not By Who You Think," 22 May 2018 But, Rosenstein said Tuesday that the Justice Department has ruled a sitting president can't be indicted. Jeff Pegues, CBS News, "Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein addresses "threats," says DOJ won't be "extorted"," 1 May 2018 But another justification surely came with the correspondents' dinner, a typically chummy, lighthearted affair where a sitting president presides over a meal with journalists while a comic makes jokes at their expense. Chris Barton,, "White House Correspondents' Dinner and the 'Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump': What a difference seven years make," 30 Apr. 2018 As shallowly as they’re drawn, though, the women, swishing in and out during the sittings, disrupt the movie’s stuffy atmosphere and enliven production designer James Merifield’s somewhat finicky aesthetic. Jeannette Catsoulis, kansascity, "‘Final Portrait’ draws a fuzzy picture of an artist | The Kansas City Star," 18 Apr. 2018 Some players are standing, some sitting, some lying on the ground and stretching. Ben Baskin,, "No Helmets, No Pads, Full-Contact Tackle Football: Meet the Men of the A7FL," 4 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The pattern of Catalonia supporting a losing side in a war, and paying through the nose for it, continued as right-wing fascist forces under the direction of General Francisco Franco sought to usurp the sitting Republican government in 1936. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Beyond the Headlines, Catalan Culture Has a Long History of Vibrancy and Staying Power," 25 June 2018 Kylie is currently in Paris to celebrate Virgil Abloh’s premiere menswear collection for Louis Vuitton, which debuted yesterday to the likes of Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and more sitting front row. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Wears a Fendi Two-Piece Towel Outfit," 22 June 2018 The study subjects reported average sitting times of three to 15 hours a day. Melissa Healy,, "Too much sitting may thin the part of your brain that's important for memory, study suggests," 13 Apr. 2018 Kasich is among a handful of sitting Republican governors who have spoken out against the GOP bills in Congress. John Wagner, Washington Post, "Republicans running for governor put in a tough position by Trump health cuts," 28 June 2017 Outside, the 16,107-square-foot La Villa Contenta has more sitting areas for relaxation, work and watching the tots play. Cara Zimmerman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Brought Her Twins Home to This $400k-per-Month Malibu Estate," 26 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sitting.' 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 sitting


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for sitting

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sitting

The first known use of sitting was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for sitting



English Language Learners Definition of sitting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a period of time during which someone sits and does a particular activity

: a period of time when a person poses for a portrait or photograph

: a time when a meal is served to a number of people at the same time



English Language Learners Definition of sitting (Entry 2 of 2)

: currently holding an office

: used in or for sitting

: easily hit


sit·​ting | \ˈsi-tiŋ\

Kids Definition of sitting

1 : a period during which someone poses for a portrait or photograph

2 : session sense 2 a sitting of the legislature

3 : a time when a meal is served to a number of people There will be two sittings for the dinner.

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Comments on sitting

What made you want to look up sitting? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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