- Also called anxious bench. Chiefly North Atlantic States and Southern and South Midland U.S. a seat reserved at a revival meeting for those troubled by conscience and eager for spiritual assistance.
- a state of anxiety, especially about the outcome of a vote, negotiation, etc.: Strikers have been in the anxious seat for the last three days.
Origin of anxious seat
An Americanism dating back to 1810–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for anxious seat
Your friend Sweeney, the proprietor, is on the anxious-seat.The Missing Link in Modern Spiritualism
A. Leah Underhill
To descend into that region implied the same process with the "anxious-seat" of the camp-meeting.Army Life in a Black Regiment
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
And here imagine a sigh which, for depth and pro-fun-dity, none but a sentimental old maid on the anxious-seat can heave.Folly as It Flies
I verily believe you spent your time on the anxious-seat, and have caught the expression.The Chautauqua Girls At Home
Pansy, AKA Isabella M. Alden