[ sich-oo-ey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: situationsituationssituational on

  1. manner of being situated; location or position with reference to environment: The situation of the house allowed for a beautiful view.

  2. a place or locality.

  1. condition; case; plight: He is in a desperate situation.

  2. the state of affairs; combination of circumstances: The present international situation is dangerous.

  3. a position or post of employment; job.

  4. a state of affairs of special or critical significance in the course of a play, novel, etc.

  5. Sociology. the aggregate of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors acting on an individual or group to condition behavioral patterns.

Origin of situation

First recorded in 1480–90, situation is from the Medieval Latin word situātiōn- (stem of situātiō). See situate, -ion

synonym study For situation

4. See state. 5. See position.

Other words for situation

Other words from situation

  • sit·u·a·tion·al, adjective
  • sit·u·a·tion·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use situation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for situation


/ (ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃən) /

  1. physical placement, esp with regard to the surroundings

    • state of affairs; combination of circumstances

    • a complex or critical state of affairs in a novel, play, etc

  1. social or financial status, position, or circumstances

  2. a position of employment; post

usage For situation

Situation is often used in contexts in which it is redundant or imprecise. Typical examples are: the company is in a crisis situation or people in a job situation. In the first example, situation does not add to the meaning and should be omitted. In the second example, it would be clearer and more concise to substitute a phrase such as people at work

Derived forms of situation

  • situational, adjective

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 situation


see no-win situation.

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