sit·​ting | \ ˈsi-tiŋ How to pronounce sitting (audio) \

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
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

In a sitting room inside the clubhouse, his mother, his children, and his girlfriend had assembled to watch the ceremony on TV. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Inside the Cultish Dreamworld of Augusta National," 14 June 2019 The master bedroom offers an additional sitting room, a luxury bath with dual closets and separate vanities. Lisa Zapalac, Houston Chronicle, "The Sophie at Bayou Bend offers luxury living near Memorial Park," 9 June 2019 The sitting was to take place at Le Mée near Fontainebleau, the exquisite eighteenth century house that Karl had decorated with a thoroughly modish mash up of Gustavian, Martine School, and 1940s furniture. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Remembers the Unparalleled Energy, Wicked Wit, and Insatiable Curiosity of Karl Lagerfeld," 20 Feb. 2019 Something was slightly amiss when Prince Charles ushered President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump into his sitting room for tea at his London palace on Monday: Unsightly litter on the floor. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "What WAS that thing on floor when Prince Charles hosted Trump for tea at Clarence House?," 3 June 2019 The 1,800-square-ft Kipling Suite pays homage to the author with its quirky details, like a hanging monkey sculpture in the doorway and the lacquered elephant figure that sits on a mantel in the sitting room. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "Brown's Hotel is London's Latest Social Media Magnet," 30 Apr. 2019 At one point, Kim is holding court in a sitting area just outside her bedroom. Jonathan Van Meter, Vogue, "The Awakening of Kim Kardashian West," 10 Apr. 2019 The Lucite ottoman in a sitting room was a project for Sims’s furniture design studio class during college, and a plaster chandelier by Stephen Antonson hangs in the family room. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "The Paint Trick That Instantly Makes Your Home Look More Polished," 22 Mar. 2019 The White House, House, and Senate are currently all controlled by the same party—the GOP—and history shows that one-party control tends to make for interesting midterm elections, especially if the sitting President has low approval ratings. Rebecca Gale, Marie Claire, "How to Impact the Midterms, Even If You Don’t Live in a Swing State," 22 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Another favorite among our testers, the Deluxe has a wide and broad sitting area that doesn't pinch or press into your hammies, shoulders, or hips. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Best Super-Portable Camp Chairs," 11 June 2019 Blessed be the person who can fall asleep sitting upright while wrapped in a flimsy layer of polyester blanket that only covers approximately 1/3rd of the length of their legs. Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Travel Kits that Will Actually Help You Sleep on a Plane," 22 Mar. 2018 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 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

21 Jun 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on sitting

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sitting

Spanish Central: Translation of sitting

Nglish: Translation of sitting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sitting for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sitting

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showing courage and determination

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