- v. & n.
—v. (sitting; past and past part. sat)
1 intr. adopt or be in a position in which the body is supported more or less upright by the buttocks resting on the ground or a raised seat etc., with the thighs usu. horizontal.
2 tr. cause to sit; place in a sitting position.
3 intr. a (of a bird) perch. b (of an animal) rest with the hind legs bent and the body close to the ground.
4 intr. (of a bird) remain on its nest to hatch its eggs.
5 intr. a be engaged in an occupation in which the sitting position is usual. b (of a committee, legislative body, etc.) be engaged in business. c (of an individual) be entitled to hold some office or position (sat as a magistrate).
6 intr. (usu. foll. by for) pose in a sitting position (for a portrait).
7 intr. (foll. by for) be a Member of Parliament for (a constituency).
8 tr. & (foll. by for) intr. Brit. be a candidate for (an examination).
9 intr. be in a more or less permanent position or condition (esp. of inactivity or being out of use or out of place).
10 intr. (of clothes etc.) fit or hang in a certain way.
11 tr. keep or have one's seat on (a horse etc.).
12 intr. act as a babysitter.
13 intr. (often foll. by before) (of an army) take a position outside a city etc. to besiege it.
—n. the way a dress etc. sits on a person.
Phrases and idioms:
be sitting pretty be comfortably or advantageously placed. make a person sit up colloq. surprise or interest a person. sit at a person's feet be a person's pupil. sit at home be inactive. sit back relax one's efforts. sit by look on without interfering. sit down
1 sit after standing.
2 cause to sit.
3 (foll. by under) submit tamely to (an insult etc.). sit-down adj. (of a meal) eaten sitting at a table. sit-down strike a strike in which workers refuse to leave their place of work. sit heavy on the stomach take a long time to be digested.
1 occupy a place as a protest.
2 (foll. by for) take the place of.
3 (foll. by on) be present as a guest or observer at (a meeting etc.). sit-in n. a protest involving sitting in. sit in judgement assume the right of judging others; be censorious. sit loosely on not be very binding.
1 be a member of (a committee etc.).
2 hold a session or inquiry concerning.
3 colloq. delay action about (the government has been sitting on the report).
4 colloq. repress or rebuke or snub (felt rather sat on). sit on the fence see FENCE.
sit on one's hands
1 take no action.
2 refuse to applaud. sit out 1 take no part in (a dance etc.).
2 stay till the end of (esp. an ordeal).
3 sit outdoors.
4 outstay (other visitors).
sit tight colloq.
1 remain firmly in one's place.
2 not be shaken off or move away or yield to distractions.
1 rise from a lying to a sitting position.
2 sit firmly upright.
3 go to bed later than the usual time.
4 colloq. become interested or aroused etc. sit-up n. a physical exercise in which a person sits up without raising the legs from the ground. sit up and take notice colloq. have one's interest aroused, esp. suddenly. sit-upon colloq. the buttocks. sit well have a good seat in riding. sit well on suit or fit.
Etymology: OE sittan f. Gmc
Useful english dictionary. 2012.