American English

Definition of sit verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sit
    he / she / it sits
    past simple sat
    -ing form sitting
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    on chair, etc.
  1. 1[intransitive] to be in a position on a chair, etc. in which the upper part of your body is upright and your weight is supported at the bottom of your back She sat and stared at the letter in front of her. + adv./prep. May I sit here? Just sit still! He went and sat beside her. She was sitting at her desk. She always sits in that chair. It's too cold to sit outside. sit doing something We sat talking for hours. see also
  2. 2[transitive] sit somebody + adv./prep. to put someone in a sitting position He lifted the child and sat her on the wall. She sat him down in front of the fire with a hot drink.
  3. of things
  4. 3[intransitive] to be in a particular place + adv./prep. A large bus was sitting outside. The pot was sitting in a pool of water. The jacket sat beautifully on her shoulders (= fitted well). + adj. The box sat unopened on the shelf.
  5. have official position
  6. 4[intransitive] to have an official position as something or as a member of something sit as something He was sitting as a temporary judge. sit in/on something She sat on a number of committees.
  7. of a governing body, etc.
  8. 5[intransitive] (of a governing body, committee, court of law, etc.) to meet in order to do official business The legislature sits for less than six months of the year.
  9. of bird
  10. 6[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to rest on a branch, etc. or to stay on a nest to keep the eggs warm
  11. of dog
  12. 7[intransitive] to sit on the back part of its body with its front legs straight Rover! Sit!
  13. take care of children
  14. 8[intransitive] sit (for somebody) = babysit Who's sitting for you? see also house-sit
  15. Thesaurussitsit down be seated have/take a seat perchThese words all mean to rest your weight on your bottom with your back upright, for example on a chair.sit to rest your weight on your bottom with your back upright, for example on a chair:May I sit here? Sit still, will you! Sit is usually used with an adverb or a prepositional phrase to show where or how someone sits, but sometimes another phrase or clause is used to show what someone does while they are sitting:We sat talking for hours.sit down to move from a standing position to a sitting position:Please sit seated (formal) to be sitting:She was seated at the head of the table. Be seated is often used as a formal way of inviting someone to sit down:Please be seated.have/take a seat to sit down Have/Take a seat is used especially as a polite way of inviting someone to sit down:Please have a seat.perch (somewhat informal) to sit on something, especially on the edge of something:She perched herself on the edge of the bed. Perch is always used with an adverb or prepositional phrase to show where someone is perching.Patterns to sit/sit down/be seated/have a seat/take a seat/perch on something to sit/sit down/be seated/have a seat/take a seat in somethingIdioms
    be sitting pretty (informal)
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    to be in a good situation, especially when others are not With profits at record levels, the company's certainly sitting pretty this year.
    rest/sit on your laurels (usually disapproving)
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    to feel so satisfied with what you have already achieved that you do not try to do any more
    sit at somebody's feet
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    to admire someone very much, especially a teacher or someone from whom you try to learn
    sit/stand bolt upright
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    to sit or stand with your back straight
    sit comfortably/easily/well, etc. (with something)
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    to seem right, natural, suitable, etc. in a particular place or situation His views did not sit comfortably with the management line.
    sit in judgment (on/over/upon somebody)
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    to decide whether someone's behavior is right or wrong, especially when you have no right to do this How dare you sit in judgment on me?
    sit on the fence
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    to avoid becoming involved in deciding or influencing something He tends to sit on the fence at meetings.
    sit/stand silently by
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    to do or say nothing to help someone or deal with a difficult situation We can't sit silently by and let them arrest him!
    1. 1to stay where you are rather than moving away or changing position We sat tight and waited to be rescued.
    2. 2to stay in the same situation, without changing your mind or taking any action Shareholders are being advised to sit tight until the crisis passes.
    Phrasal Verbssit aroundsit backsit bysit downsit down and do somethingsit for somebody/somethingsit in for somebodysit in on somethingsit on somethingsit somethingoutsit through somethingsit upsit up (and do something)sit somebody up
GrammarsitYou can use on, in, and at with sit. You sit on a chair, a step, the edge of the table, etc. You sit in an armchair. If you are sitting at a table, desk, etc., you are sitting in a chair close to it, usually so that you can eat a meal, do some work, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sit