See more synonyms for situation 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.
  3. condition; case; plight: He is in a desperate situation.
  4. the state of affairs; combination of circumstances: The present international situation is dangerous.
  5. a position or post of employment; job.
  6. a state of affairs of special or critical significance in the course of a play, novel, etc.
  7. 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
Related formssit·u·a·tion·al, adjectivesit·u·a·tion·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms for situation

See more synonyms for on
1. site. 4. See state. 5. See position. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for situational

Contemporary Examples of situational

Historical Examples of situational

  • What shall we say then—that a mental image is a situational item only when the territory is occupied?

    Territory in Bird Life

    H. Eliot Howard

British Dictionary definitions for situational


  1. physical placement, esp with regard to the surroundings
    1. state of affairs; combination of circumstances
    2. a complex or critical state of affairs in a novel, play, etc
  2. social or financial status, position, or circumstances
  3. a position of employment; post
Derived Formssituational, adjective


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
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 situational

1903, from situation + -al. Related: Situationally. Situational ethics attested from 1969 (situation ethics first attested 1955).



early 15c., "place, position, or location," from Middle French situation or directly from Medieval Latin situationem (nominative situatio) "a position, situation," noun of action from past participle stem of situare "to place, locate" (see situate). Meaning "state of affairs" is from 1710; meaning "employment post" is from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with situational


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.