Definition of sit verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



sitting, sat, sat

on chair, etc.

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 backShe sat and stared at the letter in front of her. + adverb/prepositionMay 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 somethingWe sat talking for hours. see also 2 [transitive] sit someone + adverb/preposition to put someone in a sitting positionHe lifted the child and sat her on the wall.She sat him down in front of the fire with a hot drink.

of things

3 [intransitive] to be in a particular place + adverb/prepositionA large bus was sitting outside.The pot was sitting in a pool of water.The jacket sat beautifully on her shoulders (= fitted well). + adjectiveThe box sat unopened on the shelf.

have official position

4 [intransitive] to have an official position as something or as a member of something sit as somethingHe was sitting as a temporary judge. sit in/on somethingShe sat on a number of committees.

of a governing body, etc.

5 [intransitive] (of a governing body, committee, court of law, etc.) to meet in order to do official businessThe legislature sits for less than six months of the year.

of bird

6 [intransitive] (+ adverb/preposition) to rest on a branch, etc. or to stay on a nest to keep the eggs warm

of dog

7 [intransitive] to sit on the back part of its body with its front legs straightRover! Sit!

take care of children

8 [intransitive] sit (for someone) = babysitWho's sitting for you? see also house-sit

be sitting pretty

(informal) to be in a good situation, especially when others are notWith profits at record levels, the company's certainly sitting pretty this sitting pretty

rest/sit on your laurels

(usually disapproving) to feel so satisfied with what you have already achieved that you do not try to do any morerest on your laurelssit on your laurels

sit at someone's feet

to admire someone very much, especially a teacher or someone from whom you try to learn
sit at feet

sit comfortably/easily/well, etc. (with something)

to seem right, natural, suitable, etc. in a particular place or situation
His views did not sit comfortably with the management line.sit comfortably/well, etc.sit comfortably/well, etc. withsit easily/well, etc.sit easily/well, etc. with

sit in judgment (on/over/upon someone)

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 in judgmentsit in judgment on/uponsit in judgmentsit in judgment over/upon

sit on the fence

to avoid becoming involved in deciding or influencing something
He tends to sit on the fence at meetings.sit on the fence

sit/stand silently by

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!sit silently bystand silently by

sit tight

1 to stay where you are rather than moving away or changing positionWe sat tight and waited to be rescued.2 to stay in the same situation, without changing your mind or taking any actionShareholders are being advised to sit tight until the crisis passes.sit tight

sit around

(often disapproving) to spend time doing nothing very usefulI'm far too busy to sit around here. sit doing somethingHe just sits around watching TV.sit around

sit back

1 to sit on something, usually a chair, in a relaxed positionHe sat back in his chair and started to read.2 to relax, especially by not getting too involved in or anxious about somethingShe's not the kind of person who can sit back and let others do all the work.sit back

sit by

to take no action to stop something bad or wrong from happeningWe cannot just sit by and watch this tragedy happen.sit by

sit down


sit yourself down

to move from a standing position to a sitting positionPlease sit down.He sat down on the bed.They sat down to consider the problem.Come in and sit yourselves down.sit down

sit down and do something

to give something time and attention in order to try to solve a problem or achieve somethingThis is something that we should sit down and discuss as a team.sit down and do

sit for someone/something

[no passive] to be a model for an artist or a photographerto sit for your portraitShe sat for Augustus John.sit for

sit in for someone

to do someone's job or perform their duties while they are away, sick, etc. synonym stand in forsit in for

sit in on something

to attend a meeting, class, etc. in order to listen to or learn from it rather than to take an active partI was allowed to sit in on an executive meeting.sit in on

sit on something

(informal) to have received a letter, report, etc. from someone and then not replied or taken any action concerning itThey have been sitting on my application for a month now.sit on

sit somethingout

1 to stay in a place and wait for something unpleasant or boring to finishWe sat out the storm in a café.2 to not take part in a dance, game, or other activityI think I'll sit this one out.sit out

sit through something

to stay until the end of a performance, speech, meeting, etc. that you think is boring or too longWe had to sit through nearly two hours of speeches.sit through

sit up

1 to be or move yourself into a sitting position, rather than lying down or leaning backDo you feel well enough to sit up yet?Sit up straight—don't slouch.2 to not go to bed until later than usualWe sat up half the night, talking.sit up

sit up (and do something)

(informal) to start to pay careful attention to what is happening, being said, etc.The proposal had made his clients sit up and take notice.sit upsit up and do

sit someone up

to move someone into a sitting position after they have been lying downsit up
Usage noteUsage note: sitYou 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.Usage noteUsage note: sitsit 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!note 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.note 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 note 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.note Perch is always used with an adverb or prepositional phrase to show where someone is perching.patternsto sit/sit down/be seated/have a seat/take a seat/perch on somethingto sit/sit down/be seated/have a seat/take a seat in something