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.
- to take a seat.
- to descend to a sitting position; alight.
- to take up a position, as to encamp or besiege: The military forces sat down at the approaches to the city.
- to attend or take part as a visitor or temporary participant: to sit in at a bridge game; to sit in for the band's regular pianist.
- to take part in a sit-in.
- to inquire into or deliberate over: A coroner's jury was called to sit on the case.
- Informal.to suppress; silence: They sat on the bad news as long as they could.
- Informal.to check or rebuke; squelch: I'll sit on him if he tries to interrupt me.
- to stay to the end of: Though bored, we sat out the play.
- to surpass in endurance: He sat out his tormentors.
- to keep one's seat during (a dance, competition, etc.); fail to participate in: We sat out all the Latin-American numbers.
- to rise from a supine to a sitting position.
- to delay the hour of retiring beyond the usual time.
- to sit upright; hold oneself erect.
- Informal.to become interested or astonished: We all sat up when the holiday was announced.
- to fail to applaud.
- to fail to take appropriate action.
Origin of sit1
Synonyms for sit
verb (intr, preposition)
verb sits, sitting or sat (mainly intr)
- to wait patiently; bide one's time
- to maintain one's position, stand, or opinion firmly
Word Origin for sit
Old English sittan "to occupy a seat, be seated, sit down, seat oneself; remain, continue; settle, encamp, occupy; lie in wait; besiege" (class V strong verb; past tense sæt, past participle seten), from Proto-Germanic *setjan (cf. Old Saxon sittian, Old Norse sitja, Danish sidde, Old Frisian sitta, Middle Dutch sitten, Dutch zitten, Old High German sizzan, German sitzen, Gothic sitan), from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit" (see sedentary).
With past tense sat, formerly also set, now restricted to dialect, and sate, now archaic; and past participle sat, formerly sitten. In reference to a legislative assembly, from 1510s. Meaning "to baby-sit" is recorded from 1966.
To sit back "be inactive" is from 1943. To sit on one's hands was originally "to withhold applause" (1926); later, "to do nothing" (1959). To sit around "be idle, do nothing" is 1915, American English. To sit out "not take part" is from 1650s. Sitting pretty is from 1916.
Also, sit upon.
Confer about or deliberate over, as in Another attorney was called to sit on the case. [Mid-1400s]
Suppress or repress, as in I know they were sitting on some evidence. [Early 1900s]
Postpone action or resolution regarding, as in I don't know why the city council is sitting on their decision. [Early 1900s]
Rebuke sharply, reprimand, as in If he interrupts one more time I'm going to sit on him. [Slang; second half of 1800s]
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
- at a sitting