Definition of sit verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sit
    BrE BrE//sɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪt//
    he / she / it sits
    BrE BrE//sɪts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪts//
    past simple sat
    BrE BrE//sæt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sæt//
    past participle sat
    BrE BrE//sæt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sæt//
    -ing form sitting
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪtɪŋ//
    Exams and assessment
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    on chair, etc.
  1. 1  [intransitive] to rest your weight on your bottom with your back vertical, for example on/in a chair 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 sit down Grammar Pointsit You 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. Synonymssitsit down be seated 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 prepositional phrase to show where or how somebody sits, but sometimes another phrase or clause is used to show what somebody does while they are sitting:We sat talking for hours.sit down/​sit yourself down to move from a standing position to a sitting position:Please sit down. Come in and sit yourselves down.be 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 somebody to sit down:Please be seated.take a seat to sit down Take a seat is used especially as a polite way of inviting somebody to sit down:Please take a seat.perch (rather 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 somebody is perching.Patterns to sit/​sit down/​be seated/​take a seat/​perch on something to sit/​sit down/​be seated/​take a seat in something
  2. 2[transitive] sit somebody + adv./prep. to put somebody 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. They both sat as MPs in the House of Commons. sit in/on something She sat on a number of committees. sit for something For years he sat for Henley (= was the MP for that constituency).
  7. of parliament, etc.
  8. 5[intransitive] (of a parliament, committee, court of law, etc.) to meet in order to do official business Parliament sits for less than six months of the year.
  9. exam
  10. 6[transitive, intransitive] (rather formal) to do an exam (British English) sit something Candidates will sit the examinations in June. Most of the students sit at least 5 GCSEs. (especially North American English) sit for something He was about to sit for his entrance exam. See related entries: Exams and assessment
  11. of bird
  12. 7[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to rest on a branch, etc. or to stay on a nest to keep the eggs warm
  13. of dog
  14. 8[intransitive] to sit on its bottom with its front legs straight Rover! Sit!
  15. take care of children
  16. 9[intransitive] sit (for somebody) = babysit Who's sitting for you? see also house-sit
  17. Word OriginOld English sittan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zitten, German sitzen, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sedere and Greek hezesthai.Extra examples Can I sit on this chair? Elmer was happily sitting in his high chair. He motioned the young officer to sit down. He sat bolt upright, hands folded in front of him. He simply sat there not speaking. He was sitting against the wall. He was sitting at his desk. He would sit quietly and watch what was happening. How can you sit back and watch him suffer? I hate to be sitting around doing nothing. I recently had a chance to sit down with Britain’s Foreign Secretary. Joan sat back in her chair. Just sit back and enjoy the show. Please sit down and let me talk to you. She just sat there staring into space. She sat demurely on the edge of her chair. She sat under an apple tree. She slowly sat up and looked around. She was sitting astride a horse. She was sitting in her chair with her legs crossed. She went and sat beside him. Surely someone would stand up and let her sit down? The children sat cross-legged on the floor. The kids sat around a campfire. The manager sat behind his desk. Their actions have forced us to sit up and take notice. They sat opposite each other. We can’t sit idly by and let this happen. We sat at a table in the corner. We sat in silence for a few moments. He sat and stared at the letter in front of him. I was sitting at my desk, gazing out of the window. She sat back and stretched out her legs. Sit still, will you! Sit up straight—don’t slouch.Idioms (informal) 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
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    (usually disapproving) 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 somebody very much, especially a teacher or somebody from whom you try to learn
    to sit or stand with your back straight See related entries: Position and movement
    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 judgement (on/over/upon somebody)
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    to decide whether somebody’s behaviour is right or wrong, especially when you have no right to do this How dare you sit in judgement on me?
    to avoid becoming involved in deciding or influencing something He tends to sit on the fence at meetings. to do or say nothing to help somebody 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 aboutsit backsit bysit downsit down and do somethingsit for somebodysit in for somebodysit in on somethingsit on somethingsit somethingoutsit through somethingsit upsit up (and do something)sit somebody up
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sit