sit-in

[sit-in]
noun
  1. any organized protest in which a group of people peacefully occupy and refuse to leave a premises: Sixty students staged a sit-in outside the dean's office.
  2. an organized passive protest, especially against racial segregation, in which the demonstrators occupy seats prohibited to them, as in restaurants and other public places.
  3. sit-down strike.

Origin of sit-in

1955–60; noun use of verb phrase sit in (a place); cf. sit1, -in3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Contemporary Examples of sit-ins


British Dictionary definitions for sit-ins

sit-in

noun
  1. a form of civil disobedience in which demonstrators occupy seats in a public place and refuse to move as a protest
  2. another term for sit-down strike
verb sit in (intr, adverb)
  1. (often foll by for) to deputize (for)
  2. (foll by on) to take part (in) as a visitor or guestwe sat in on Professor Johnson's seminar
  3. to organize or take part in a sit-in
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-ins

sit-in

1936, in reference to session musicians; 1937, in reference to union action; 1941, in reference to student protests. From the verbal phrase; see sit (v.) + in (adv.). To sit in is attested from 1868 in the sense "attend, be present;" from 1919 specifically as "attend as an observer."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sit-ins in Culture

sit-ins

A form of nonviolent protest, employed during the 1960s in the civil rights movement and later in the movement against the Vietnam War. In a sit-in, demonstrators occupy a place open to the public, such as a racially segregated (see segregation) lunch counter or bus station, and then refuse to leave. Sit-ins were designed to provoke arrest and thereby gain attention for the demonstrators' cause.

Note

The civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., defended such tactics as sit-ins in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.