views updated May 14 2018

sit / sit/ • v. (sit·ting; past sat / sat/ ) 1. [intr.] adopt or be in a position in which one's weight is supported by one's buttocks rather than one's feet and one's back is upright: you'd better sit down I sat next to him at dinner. ∎  [tr.] cause to adopt or be in such a position: sit yourself down and I'll bring you some coffee. ∎  (of an animal) rest with the hind legs bent and the body close to the ground: it is important for a dog to sit when instructed. ∎  (of a bird) rest on a branch; perch. ∎  (of a bird) remain on its nest to incubate its egg: [as adj.] (sitting) a sitting hen. ∎  [tr.] ride or keep one's seat on (a horse). ∎  [tr.] not use (a player) in a game: the manager must decide who to sit in the World Series. ∎  [tr.] (of a table, room, or building) be large enough for (a specified number of seated people): the cathedral sat about 3,000 people. ∎  (sit for) pose, typically in a seated position, for (an artist or photographer): Walter Deverell asked her to sit for him. ∎  [intr.] be or remain in a particular position or state: the fridge was sitting in a pool of water. ∎  (of an item of clothing) fit a person well or badly as specified: the blue uniform sat well on his big frame. ∎  (sit with) be harmonious with: his shyness doesn't sit easily with Hollywood tradition.2. [intr.] (of a legislature, committee, court of law, etc.) be engaged in its business: Congress continued sitting until March 16. ∎  serve as a member of a council, jury, or other official body: they were determined that women jurists should sit on the tribunal.3. [tr.] chiefly Brit. take (an examination): pupils are required to sit nine subjects at GCSE | [intr.] he was about to sit for his Cambridge entrance exam. 4. [intr.] [usu. in comb.] stay in someone's house while they are away and look after their house or pet: Kelly had been cat-sitting for me. ∎ babysit.• n. [in sing.] 1. a period of sitting: a sit in the shade.2. archaic the way in which an item of clothing fits someone: the sit of her gown.PHRASES: sit at someone's feet be someone's student or follower.sit in judgmentsee judgment.sit on the fencesee fence.sit on one's ass vulgar slang do nothing; fail to take action.sit on one's hands take no action.sit (heavy) on the stomach (of food) take a long time to be digested.sit tight inf. remain firmly in one's place. ∎  refrain from taking action or changing one's mind: we're advising our clients to sit tight and neither to buy nor sell.sit up (and take notice) inf. suddenly start paying attention or have one's interest aroused.PHRASAL VERBS: sit back relax: sit back and enjoy the music. ∎  take no action; choose not to become involved: I can't just sit back and let Betsy do all the work.sit by take no action in order to prevent something undesirable from occurring: I'm not going to sit by and let an innocent man go to jail.sit down archaic encamp outside a city in order to besiege it: with a large force he sat down before Ravenna.sit in1. (of a group of people) occupy a place as a form of protest.2. attend a meeting or discussion without taking an active part in it: I sat in on a training session for therapists.sit in for temporarily carry out the duties of (another person).sit on inf. 1. fail to deal with: she sat on the article until a deadline galvanized her into putting words to paper.2. subdue (someone), typically by saying something intended to discomfit or embarrass them. ∎  suppress (something): tell them to sit on this story until we hear from Quinlan.sit something out not take part in a particular event or activity: he had to sit out the first playoff game. ∎  wait without moving or taking action until a particular unwelcome situation or process is over: most of the workers seem to be sitting the crisis out, waiting to see what will happen.sit through stay until the end of (a tedious or lengthy meeting or performance).sit up (or sit someone up) 1. move (or cause someone to move) from a lying or slouching to a sitting position: Amy sat up and rubbed her eyes I'll sit you up on the pillows.2. refrain from going to bed until a later time than usual: we sat up late to watch a horror film.


views updated May 21 2018

sit pt., pp. sat be seated, seat oneself, †be situated OE.; †fit, suit XIII. OE. str. vb. sittan = OS. sittian (Du. zitten), OHG. sizzan (G. sitzen), ON. sitja :- Gmc. *sitjan (cf. Goth. sitan), f. *set- :- IE. *sed- *sod- *sd-. repr. also by Skr. sī́dati, Gr. hézomai, Lat. sedēre, etc.


views updated Jun 08 2018


To hold court or perform an act that is judicial in nature; to hold a session, such as of a court,grand jury, or legislative body.