Origin of sit-up
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.
Origin of sit1
Synonyms for sit
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.
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]
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