[ sed-n-ter-ee ]
/ ˈsɛd nˌtɛr i /


characterized by or requiring a sitting posture: a sedentary occupation.
accustomed to sit or rest a great deal or to take little exercise.
Chiefly Zoology.
  1. abiding in one place; not migratory.
  2. pertaining to animals that move about little or are permanently attached to something, as a barnacle.

Origin of sedentary

1590–1600; < Latin sedentārius sitting, equivalent to sedent- (stem of sedēns, present participle of sedēre to sit1; see -ent) + -ārius -ary
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for non-sedentary


/ (ˈsɛdəntərɪ, -trɪ) /


characterized by or requiring a sitting positionsedentary work
tending to sit about without taking much exercise
(of animals) moving about very little, usually because of attachment to a rock or other surface
(of animals) not migratory
Derived Formssedentarily, adverbsedentariness, noun

Word Origin for sedentary

C16: from Latin sedentārius, from sedēre to sit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for non-sedentary



1590s, "remaining in one place," from Middle French sédentaire (16c.) and directly from Latin sedentarius "sitting, remaining in one place," from sedentem (nominative sedens), present participle of sedere "to sit; occupy an official seat, preside; sit still, remain; be fixed or settled," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit" (cf. Sanskrit a-sadat "sat down," sidati "sits;" Old Persian hadis "abode;" Greek ezesthai "to sit," hedra "seat, chair, face of a geometric solid;" Old Irish suide "seat, sitting;" Welsh sedd "seat," eistedd "sitting;" Old Church Slavonic sežda, sedeti "to sit;" Lithuanian sedmi "to sit;" Russian sad "garden," Lithuanian soditi "to plant;" Gothic sitan, Old English sittan "to sit;" see sit). Of persons, the sense "not in the habit of exercise" is recorded from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper