a person who sits.
a brooding hen.
a person who stays with young children while the parents go out; baby-sitter.
a person who provides routine or custodial care temporarily or part-time, as for an elderly person or a pet whose owner is on vacation.
Slang. the buttocks; rump.

Origin of sitter

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at sit1, -er1




Wil·lem de [wil-uh m duh] /ˈwɪl əm də/, 1872–1934, Dutch astronomer and mathematician. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sitter

Contemporary Examples of sitter

  • He wanted to design a seat that allowed its sitter to perch and pivot while chatting on the phone.

  • Samaras rarely got an outright “no” from a sitter, but some people kept postponing their appearances.

    The Daily Beast logo
    VIP Portrait Show

    Judith H. Dobrzynski

    November 12, 2010

  • The recession means wives are under pressure from their husbands who tell them a sitter is now a luxury they can't afford.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Recession Marriage Wars

    Diane Clehane

    March 25, 2009

Historical Examples of sitter

  • But they are not allowed to dispose of the portraits of others, without the sitter's permission.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • For an illustration let us turn to the artist and his sitter.

  • Long and dreary may be the days of the sitter, but the hour of his reward will come at last.


    Charles James Lever

  • Not only have I had a sitter for this picture, but he is alive and hearty at the hour I am writing.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • But the first syllable of the sitter's name has been its only constant.


    Beatrice Fortescue

British Dictionary definitions for sitter



a person or animal that sits
a person who is posing for his or her portrait to be painted, carved, etc
a broody hen or other bird that is sitting on its eggs to hatch them
(in combination) a person who looks after a specified person or thing for someone elseflat-sitter
short for baby-sitter
anyone, other than the medium, taking part in a seance
anything that is extremely easy, such as an easy catch in cricket



Willem de (ˈwɪləm də). 1872–1934, Dutch astronomer, who calculated the size of the universe and conceived of it as expanding
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 sitter

c.1300, "one that sits," agent noun from sit (v.). As short for baby-sitter from 1937.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper