sit·​u·​a·​tion | \ ˌsi-chə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce situation (audio) \

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 entry 6, 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 County spokeswoman Donna Durckel said the county is aware of the situation and is working to ensure the safety of the nesting birds. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Nesting migratory birds posing challenges for Lindo Lake fixes," 9 May 2021 And more importantly, James has looked impressive in recent workouts and is expected to also be back this week, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Anthony Davis’ 42 points help Lakers topple Suns for big win," 9 May 2021 With New York concentrating their defensive efforts on Booker and Chris Paul, Ayton not only took advantage of the situation, but his teammates found him. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Suns: Look back at chippy win over Knicks, ahead to showdown with LeBron James-less Lakers," 8 May 2021 In a brief lull, Ms. Craig-Watkins left the house and the sisters began to pack up their things, thinking the worst of the situation was over. New York Times, "Ma’Khia Bryant’s Journey Through Foster Care Ended With an Officer’s Bullet," 8 May 2021 These concerns included Yellen’s comments on raising interest rates, a pullback in tech stocks in the US, a worsening virus situation in India, and the deteriorating diplomatic relationship between China and its trade partner to South Australia. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, "Chinese Tourists Take 230 Million Domestic Trips During Labor Day Holiday," 6 May 2021 The entire situation -- the finger-pointing at critical race theory, the emphasis on indoctrination and the general vilifying of racial education -- is part of a larger trend currently playing out across the United States. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "The plan was meant to address racism in the school district. Now, it may not get passed," 5 May 2021 Not an ideal situation for someone with five kids, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Cathy Jakicic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mother's Day (with treats) will bring families back together after a year of COVID," 4 May 2021 The dire situation and concern over variants prompting restrictions on travel from India starting Tuesday. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 5-2-21: Jake Sullivan, Sen. John Barrasso, Adm. Mike Mullen & Dr. Ashish Jha," 2 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for situation

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Situation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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
somewhat formal + old-fashioned : a place or location


sit·​u·​a·​tion | \ ˌsi-chə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce situation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce situation (audio) \

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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