sit·​u·​a·​tion | \ˌsi-chə-ˈwā-shən \

Definition of situation 

1a : the way in which something is placed in relation to its surroundings

b : site

c archaic : locality

2 archaic : state of health

3a : position or place of employment : post, job

b : position in life : status

4 : position with respect to conditions and circumstances

5a : relative position or combination of circumstances at a certain moment

b : a critical, trying, or unusual state of affairs : problem

c : a particular or striking complex of affairs at a stage in the action of a narrative or drama

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Examples of situation in a Sentence

He's in a bad situation. You may find yourself in a situation where you lose control of the vehicle. How is your financial situation? I'm worried about the current political situation. My parents are retired and in a good situation. I have a situation that I have to deal with at the moment. The house is in a wonderful situation overlooking the valley.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Lordstown and the surrounding Mahoning Valley in northeast Ohio has been through tough situations before. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 And that situation will only improve once BepiColombo reaches the planet in 2025 and begins sending back more orbital data. Meghan Bartels,, "What Would It Take to Land on Mercury? It's Time to Find Out, Scientists Say," 30 Aug. 2018 Applying the same old tools to a very new situation, even though those tools have been proven ineffectual. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.," 21 Nov. 2018 Officers learn de-escalation techniques to calm people: ways to hopefully stop a situation without violence. Alexis Stevens, The Seattle Times, "Georgia tallies meth’s toll: Nearly 20 percent of those killed by police in state test positive for it," 20 Nov. 2018 Pompeo’s trip comes amid a rapidly moving diplomatic situation in the Korean Peninsula. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Pompeo arrives in North Korea to prepare for meeting with Kim Jong Un," 2 Oct. 2018 Senate Democrats have, however, long been in a difficult tactical situation torn between a large parcel of members who’d like to run for president in 2020 and another large parcel of members trying to win races in states Trump won. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "House Democrats must resist Trump’s infrastructure trap," 9 Nov. 2018 November will undoubtedly be a race about stabilizing the state’s financial situation and breaking its long history of corrupt leadership (four of the past ten governors have ended up in prison). Tara Golshan,, "Illinois results for every midterm race," 8 Nov. 2018 Your friend may ask you for advice, but that can be an incredibly tricky situation. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Tips for Supporting a Friend Who's Getting an Abortion," 7 Nov. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for situation

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for situation

The first known use of situation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for situation



English Language Learners Definition of situation

: all of the facts, conditions, and events that affect someone or something at a particular time and in a particular place

: an important or sudden problem

: a place or location


sit·​u·​a·​tion | \ˌsi-chə-ˈwā-shən \

Kids Definition of situation

1 : the combination of surrounding conditions The situation at school is better than it was.

2 : a state of affairs that is urgent or difficult We have a situation to deal with.

4 : position or place of employment : job


sit·​u·​a·​tion | \ˌsich-ə-ˈwā-shən \

Medical Definition of situation 

1 : the way in which something is placed in relation to its surroundings

2 : the total set of physical, social, and psychocultural factors that act upon an individual in orienting and conditioning his or her behavior

3 : relative position or combination of circumstances at a particular moment

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Comments on situation

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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