anxious seat


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anxious seat

  • Your friend Sweeney, the proprietor, is on the anxious-seat.

  • 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.

  • 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