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

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 But a sticky situation has arisen from the Illinois rally on Saturday, October 27. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Following Synagogue Shooting, Trump's Visit to Pittsburgh Was Met With Protests," 30 Oct. 2018 Rau did what a lot of veterans do when faced with such a situation. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Thank You For Your Service. Now What?," 17 Oct. 2018 Shortly after Khosrowshahi brought Harford to Uber in December, Harford’s comments began attracting notice, five of the people with knowledge of the situation said. Mike Isaac,, "At Uber, new questions arise about executive behavior," 14 July 2018 In truth, much will depend on who handles the expectation and the gravity of the situation the best. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "How the World Cup final between France and Croatia will be won," 13 July 2018 Gaslighting can be when a popular high school student causes another student to question his or her feelings, or judgment of a situation. Sarah Digiulio /, NBC News, "What is gaslighting? And how do you know if it's happening to you?," 13 July 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

13 Nov 2018

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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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