sit

1
[sit]

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


Idioms

    sit on one's hands,
    1. to fail to applaud.
    2. to fail to take appropriate action.
    sit pretty, Informal. to be in a comfortable situation: He's been sitting pretty ever since he got that new job.
    sit tight, to bide one's time; take no action: I'm going to sit tight till I hear from you.

Origin of sit

1
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)

Synonyms for sit

Usage note

See set.

tight

[tahyt]

adjective, tight·er, tight·est.

firmly or closely fixed in place; not easily moved; secure: a tight knot.
drawn or stretched so as to be tense; taut.
affording little or no extra room; fitting closely, especially too closely: a tight collar.
difficult to deal with or manage: to be in a tight situation.
of such close or compacted texture, or fitted together so closely, as to be impervious to water, air, steam, etc.: a good, tight roof.
concise; terse: a tight style of writing.
firm; rigid: his tight control of the company.
carefully arranged or organized and full; affording little leeway; compact: a tight schedule.
nearly even; close: a tight race.
Informal.
  1. close, as friends; familiar or intimate.
  2. united: The strikers are tight in their refusal to accept the proposed contract.
parsimonious; stingy.
Slang. amazing; cool: Your new place is tight!
Older Slang. drunk; tipsy.
characterized by scarcity or eager demand; costly; limited; restricted: a tight job market; tight money.
Journalism. (of a newspaper) having more news available than is required for or utilizable in a particular issue.
Baseball. inside(def 18).
Scot. and North England. competent or skillful.
neatly or well built or made.

adverb, tight·er, tight·est.

in a tight manner; closely; firmly; securely; tensely: Shut the door tight. The shirt fit tight across the shoulders.
soundly or deeply: to sleep tight.

Origin of tight

1400–50; late Middle English, sandhi variant of Middle English thight dense, solid, tight < Old Norse thēttr (cognate with Old English -thiht firm, solid, Dutch, German dicht tight, close, dense)
Related formstight·ly, adverbtight·ness, nouno·ver·tight, adjectiveo·ver·tight·ly, adverbo·ver·tight·ness, noun

Synonyms for tight

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


British Dictionary definitions for sit tight

SIT

abbreviation for

stay in touch

sit

verb sits, sitting or sat (mainly intr)

(also tr; when intr, often foll by down, in, or on) to adopt or rest in a posture in which the body is supported on the buttocks and thighs and the torso is more or less uprightto sit on a chair; sit a horse
(tr) to cause to adopt such a posture
(of an animal) to adopt or rest in a posture with the hindquarters lowered to the ground
(of a bird) to perch or roost
(of a hen or other bird) to cover eggs to hatch them; brood
to be situated or located
(of the wind) to blow from the direction specified
to adopt and maintain a posture for one's portrait to be painted, etc
to occupy or be entitled to a seat in some official capacity, as a judge, elected representative, etc
(of a deliberative body) to be convened or in session
to remain inactive or unusedhis car sat in the garage for a year
to rest or lie as specifiedthe nut was sitting so awkwardly that he couldn't turn it
(of a garment) to fit or hang as specifiedthat dress sits well on you
to weigh, rest, or lie as specifiedgreatness sits easily on him
(tr) mainly British to take (an examination)he's sitting his bar finals
(usually foll by for) mainly British to be a candidate (for a qualification)he's sitting for a BA
(intr; in combination) to look after a specified person or thing for someone elsegranny-sit
(tr) to have seating capacity for
sitting pretty informal well placed or established financially, socially, etc
sit tight
  1. to wait patiently; bide one's time
  2. to maintain one's position, stand, or opinion firmly

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

tight

adjective

stretched or drawn so as not to be loose; tauta tight cord
fitting or covering in a close mannera tight dress
held, made, fixed, or closed firmly and securelya tight knot
  1. of close and compact construction or organization, esp so as to be impervious to water, air, etc
  2. (in combination)watertight; airtight
unyielding or stringentto keep a tight hold on resources
cramped or constricteda tight fit
mean or miserly
difficult and problematica tight situation
hardly profitablea tight bargain
economics
  1. (of a commodity) difficult to obtain; in excess demand
  2. (of funds, money, etc) difficult and expensive to borrow because of high demand or restrictive monetary policy
  3. (of markets) characterized by excess demand or scarcity with prices tending to riseCompare easy (def. 8)
(of a match or game) very close or even
(of a team or group, esp of a pop group) playing well together, in a disciplined coordinated way
informal drunk
informal (of a person) showing tension
archaic, or dialect neat

adverb

in a close, firm, or secure waypull it tight
sit tight
  1. to wait patiently; bide one's time
  2. to maintain one's position, stand, or opinion firmly
sleep tight to sleep soundly
Derived Formstightly, adverbtightness, noun

Word Origin for tight

C14: probably variant of thight, from Old Norse thēttr close; related to Middle High German dīhte thick
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 tight

tight

adj.

mid-15c., "dense, close, compact," from Middle English thight, from Old Norse þettr "watertight, close in texture, solid," from Proto-Germanic *thenkhtuz (cf. second element in Old English meteþiht "stout from eating;" Middle High German dihte "dense, thick," German dicht "dense, tight," Old High German gidigan, German gediegen "genuine, solid, worthy"), from PIE root *tenk- "to become firm, curdle, thicken" (cf. Irish techt "curdled, coagulated," Lithuanian tankus "close, tight," Persian tang "tight," Sanskrit tanakti "draws together, contracts").

Sense of "drawn, stretched" is from 1570s; meaning "fitting closely" (as of garments) is from 1779; that of "evenly matched" (of a contest, bargain, etc.) is from 1828, American English; that of "drunk" is from 1830; that of "close, sympathetic" is from 1956. Tight-assed "unwilling to relax" is attested from 1903. Tight-laced is recorded from 1741 in both the literal and figurative senses. Tight-lipped is first attested 1876.

sit

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sit tight

sit tight

Be patient, take no action, as in If you just sit tight I'm sure your passport will be returned to you. [Colloquial; first half of 1700s]

sit

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

tight

In addition to the idioms beginning with tight

  • tight as a drum
  • tight as a tick
  • tighten one's belt
  • tighten the screws
  • tight rein on, a
  • tight ship
  • tight spot
  • tight squeeze

also see:

  • in a bind (tight corner)
  • sit tight
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.