[ sed-n-ter-ee ]
/ ˈsɛd nˌtɛr i /
Save This Word!


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.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of sedentary

1590–1600; <Latin sedentārius sitting, equivalent to sedent- (stem of sedēns, present participle of sedēre to sit1; see -ent) + -ārius-ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for 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
sedentarily, adverbsedentariness, noun
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
Hate Typos? Get Grammar Coach