[ sit-uhp ]
/ ˈsɪtˌʌp /
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an exercise in which a person lies flat on the back, lifts the torso to a sitting position, and then lies flat again without changing the position of the legs: formerly done with the legs straight but now usually done with the knees bent.
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Origin of sit-up

First recorded in 1835–45; noun use of verb phrase sit up
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sit-up in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sit-up

sit up

verb (adverb)
to raise (oneself or another) from a recumbent to an upright or alert sitting posture
(intr) to remain out of bed and awake, esp until a late hour
(intr) informal to become suddenly interested or alertdevaluation of the dollar made the money market sit up
noun sit-up
a physical exercise in which the body is brought into a sitting position from one lying on the backAlso: trunk curl
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with sit-up

sit up


Rise to a sitting position from lying down, as in The sick child sat up and asked for a drink of water. [Early 1200s]


Stay up later than usual, as in The nurse sat up with her all night long. [Mid-1500s]


Sit with the spine erect, as in She was always telling the students to sit up. [Early 1700s]


Become suddenly alert, as in The students sat up when he brought up the test. The same sense appears in the related sit up and take notice, as in When he mentioned the arrival of a movie star, they all sat up and took notice. [Late 1800s]

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