[ sit-doun ]
/ ˈsɪtˌdaʊn /


done or accomplished while sitting down: sit-down meetings between the two party leaders.
(of a meal or food) served to or intended for persons seated at a table: a sit-down dinner.


Informal. a period or instance of sitting, as to relax, talk, or the like: They had a profitable sit-down together.
a protest demonstration whereby participants refuse to move from a public place.
Informal. a meal, especially a dinner, served to persons who are seated at a table.

Nearby words

  1. sit through,
  2. sit tight,
  3. sit under,
  4. sit up,
  5. sit well with,
  6. sit-down money,
  7. sit-down strike,
  8. sit-in,
  9. sit-ins,
  10. sit-up

Origin of sit-down

First recorded in 1830–40; adj. and noun use of verb phrase sit down


[ sit ]
/ sɪt /

verb (used without object), sat or (Archaic) sate; sat or (Archaic) sit·ten; sit·ting.

verb (used with object), sat or (Archaic) sate; sat or (Archaic) sit·ten; sit·ting.

Verb Phrases

Origin of sit

before 900; Middle English sitten, Old English sittan; cognate with Dutch zitten, German sitzen, Old Norse sitja; akin to Gothic sitan, Latin sedēre, Greek hézesthai (base hed-); cf. set, sedate, cathedral, nest

Can be confusedset sit (see usage note at set)

Usage note

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

British Dictionary definitions for sit down

sit down

verb (adverb)

to adopt or cause (oneself or another) to adopt a sitting posture
(intr foll by under) to suffer (insults, etc) without protests or resistance

noun sit-down

a form of civil disobedience in which demonstrators sit down in a public place as a protest or to draw attention to a cause

adjective sit-down

(of a meal, etc) eaten while sitting down at a table


/ text messaging /

abbreviation for

stay in touch


/ (sɪt) /

verb sits, sitting or sat (mainly intr)

Word Origin for sit

Old English sittan; related to Old Norse sitja, Gothic sitan, Old High German sizzen, Latin sedēre to sit, Sanskrit sīdati he sits

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 sit down
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sit down

sit down


Take a seat, as in Won't you sit down? I won't be long. [c. 1200]


sit down to. Prepare to eat a meal, as in At six we all sat down to dinner. [Late 1500s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with sit

  • sit at one's feet
  • sit back
  • sit bolt upright
  • sit by
  • sit down
  • sit in
  • sit on
  • sit on one's hands
  • sit out
  • sit pretty
  • sit through
  • sit tight
  • sit up
  • sit well with

also see:

  • at a sitting
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.