Main definitions of fit in English

: fit1fit2fit3

fit1

adjective

  • 1[predicative] Of a suitable quality, standard, or type to meet the required purpose.

    ‘the house was not fit for human habitation’
    [with infinitive] ‘is the water clean and fit to drink?’
    • ‘The chancellor's upbeat pre-budget report hammered home the message that the economy will be fit to meet challenges from Asia and China.’
    • ‘First, the food and drink had to be certified fit for human consumption.’
    • ‘The Roadmen's cottages have been used for no more than rough storage for some years and would require considerable work before they were fit for habitation.’
    • ‘However as long as the ship had lifeboats on board it was fit to travel.’
    • ‘Mr. Saunders apparently thinks that the boat, as delivered, was fit for the purpose for which it was intended.’
    • ‘He pronounced them fit for consumption, upon which we all fell to them hungrily.’
    • ‘Regulations requiring that the houses be deemed fit for habitation have been waived so that they can move in.’
    • ‘The van was fit for the purpose for which it was purchased.’
    • ‘Vic representatives visited the Southern Cross shortly after Easter and found the first and second floors fit for habitation.’
    • ‘Look at some of the buildings, run down and no longer fit for purpose.’
    • ‘But up to 150 council workers based at the Fashion Corner council tax office were waiting to find out whether the building was fit for work.’
    • ‘They spent at least another £7,000 making the launch watertight and fit for habitation.’
    • ‘But brains from younger animals will still be considered fit for human consumption.’
    • ‘I contacted a wine merchant in London and told him I wanted to buy some that would be fit for drinking in ten years time.’
    • ‘Under the Sale of Goods Act retailers must sell goods that are of a satisfactory quality, are accurately described on the packaging and are fit for their purpose.’
    • ‘He says that the property is not fit for human habitation and is in serious disrepair.’
    • ‘Meat which is not fit for consumption in the EU is now heading for South Africa.’
    • ‘Nothing can enter these kitchens that isn't deemed fit for human consumption.’
    • ‘The Association executive have had talks with the club, who indicated that they will do their utmost to ensure the playing surface is fit for cricket to be played.’
    • ‘Perhaps the trauma of that August day, when he was forced to spend so many hours in an outfit not fit for any particular athletic activity was just too much for him.’
    suitable, good enough
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Having the requisite qualities or skills to undertake something competently.
      [with infinitive] ‘the party was fit to govern’
      • ‘Luckily, the doctor in charge kept on giving her a chit that she was fit and able to work although she was not.’
      • ‘It's right to question, as the Royal Gazette does today, whether such gross negligence means the Government is fit to govern.’
      • ‘William Hague hopes to use this week's Conservative conference to prove he is fit for government.’
      • ‘Neither of these men is stupid enough to believe that churches are fit to govern a secular society, unlike many of their junior colleagues.’
      • ‘New aspects require policies to ensure that rail personnel are fit for duty and, in particular, that they are not impaired by drugs or alcohol.’
      • ‘Normally I do not drink at lunchtime because all I am fit for is a siesta; evening is a different matter < g >.’
      • ‘Doctors will be regularly asked to demonstrate their competence, so that they are fit to practise throughout their lives.’
      • ‘If we can persuade a few more to stay on rather then retire if they are fit and able to do the job, then that is a good thing.’
      • ‘If he is deemed by the court to not be fit and proper to operate the pub then we would look at reopening with a new tenant.’
      • ‘In attempting to limit the damage by lying about his own words, he has merely raised the most serious question of all: whether or not he is fit for public office.’
      • ‘He got in his van and drove, was clearly not in a fit state, and accepted now he made the wrong decision.’
      • ‘Between now and the next general election we have to persuade millions of people up and down the country that this Conservative party is fit for government.’
      • ‘But does taking a certificate guarantee that someone will be fit for purpose?’
      • ‘He was quite useless here and the only thing he was fit for was to run things like Hampton Court entertainment… They will make rings round him.’
      • ‘And those who would seek to give us that kind of politics are very happy to indulge the patronising fantasies of those who think it is all we are fit for.’
      • ‘That must go as far as not working excessive hours and being fit for the job they are doing at the time.’
      • ‘A Member who no longer thinks his party is fit to govern should in conscience resign from that party, and the party should be able to expel him if he doesn't.’
      • ‘Now, does Professor Collins believe that a professor at his university is fit for his job if the professor lies in his research?’
      • ‘And after 10 weeks in hospital, numerous complications and surgery, he was fit enough to return home.’
      • ‘Even if he didn't betray his secret, he would never be deemed fit to return to work.’
    2. 1.2Suitable and correct according to accepted social standards.
      ‘a fit subject on which to correspond’
      • ‘It is not for the Speaker to judge whether it is fit and proper for a Minister to have access to official information.’
      • ‘How could any Court of Review determine whether leave ought to be given or not without hearing and determining upon the hearing whether it was a fit case for an appeal?’
      • ‘Many former stars say it is not a fit subject for the soap.’
      • ‘What objective criteria decide what is fit to print?’
      • ‘While the results demonstrated an abundance of creativity in the audience, not all of the sculptures would be fit for public display!’
      • ‘The concept of the early modern period also enabled an exploration of topics and subjects not previously thought fit for consideration in relation to the Renaissance.’
      • ‘But religion is a private matter, and thus not a fit subject for an inaugural address.’
    3. 1.3informal [with infinitive]Having reached such an extreme condition as to be on the point of doing the thing specified.
      ‘he baited even his close companions until they were fit to kill him’
      • ‘Allen's eyeballs looked fit to pop out of his head on several occasions as he exhorted his players.’
      • ‘We were both fit to explode but managed to share a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.’
      • ‘Rhyann looked fit to kill, but it was nothing compared to Gavin's anger when Alex had first fallen under.’
      • ‘He is so excited about his aspiration that his bubble is fit to burst.’
      • ‘The water hurt his nose and stung his lungs and he felt fit to burst.’
    4. 1.4informal Ready.
      ‘well, are you fit?’
      • ‘Now just put on these boots and you're fit to go!’
      • ‘Are you fit then to return to the lecture?’
  • 2In good health, especially because of regular physical exercise.

    ‘my family keep fit by walking and cycling’
    figurative ‘the measures would ensure a leaner, fitter company’
    • ‘But we can at least keep ourselves physically fit and healthy, capable of working tirelessly for ourselves and others.’
    • ‘You have to be fit to play competitively, and all younger players are competitive.’
    • ‘Being always on the move, they are a very fit and strong people.’
    • ‘Volunteers will need to be fit and will be able to make their own way to Tatton Park.’
    • ‘A Rossendale councillor has taken on a mammoth training regime to get fit for the ultimate challenge - a trek to Everest Base Camp.’
    • ‘A healthy body is one that is strong, flexible and aerobically fit.’
    • ‘The 13-mile run may still be three months away but participants are being urged to get in training now to ensure they are fit for the event.’
    • ‘Being as fit and healthy as possible maximises the chances of a healthy pregnancy.’
    • ‘Football isn't just about committing yourself to training and being fit.’
    • ‘Research has shown that most of us regularly over-estimate how fit we are and how much real physical activity we do.’
    • ‘We think that we will get very fit by the years end.’
    • ‘People who are physically fit are happier, healthier and more productive than those who are not.’
    • ‘Dancing is great fun and a great way to keep fit during the winter months.’
    • ‘The ecologically sound version of working out involves joining in with conservation work to get fit and help the environment at the same time.’
    • ‘For me being physically fit is beneficial as it helps with my mental capacities when I'm driving.’
    • ‘Whisper it, but some players on the circuit are even less fit than your average county cricketer.’
    • ‘The only way to get fit is to make exercise a regularly scheduled part of every week, even every day.’
    • ‘He is prone to being overweight, to having a dodgy knee, to not being able to stay fit for a full season.’
    • ‘Would you like to become fit without the pounding and perspiration of an aerobic class or a gym?’
    • ‘He appreciates how fortunate he is to be fit and able to meet such a challenge.’
    healthy, well, in good health
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1British informal Sexually attractive; good-looking.
      ‘who's this fit babe?’
      • ‘Some really fit guy wearing a gorgeous top came wandering down the stairs.’
      • ‘Go and chat up her fit friend!’
      • ‘I have got a girlfriend from college but I have recently been introduced to a really fit girl through a friend of mine.’
      • ‘Who is that guy? Oh he's so fit!’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Be of the right shape and size for.

    ‘those jeans still fit me’
    [no object] ‘the shoes fitted better after being stretched’
    • ‘The trousers were a little long in the leg but other than that the clothes fit fine.’
    • ‘I looked around and grabbed a pair of trousers that actually fit me and a purple shirt, and also some undergarments.’
    • ‘We have a large range of picture frames of all shapes and sizes to fit any photo, from a back yard snapshot to a professional portrait or even a personal artwork.’
    • ‘The three-point adjustable strap adjusts to fit all heads and helmets.’
    • ‘A visible callus that forms on the feet is known as a corn and usually results from shoes that do not fit properly.’
    • ‘And just where did he think I was going to get something to fit a child that size?’
    • ‘Another approach is to take a shirt that fits you perfectly and determine the distance between the middle of its collar button to the far end of the buttonhole.’
    • ‘None of my size 10 clothes fitted me anymore, I was upset and became depressed just because my clothes size had gone up one level.’
    • ‘To preclude gloves from wrapping around the bar, you have to choose the size that fits you well - not too tight, loose, small or long - just the right size.’
    • ‘You can look amazingly sexy in beautiful plus size dresses that actually fit you and flatter your figure.’
    • ‘I find that a lot of professional clothing with a tailored look doesn't fit me well.’
    • ‘Although many fire guards can be adjusted to fit a range of widths, check that the guard you buy is suitable for your style of fire and make sure that it is firmly secured.’
    • ‘My jeans from Italy, for example, have no hope of fitting me any more.’
    • ‘The crisp polo shirt and slacks fit him perfectly, setting off his muscular arms and blue eyes.’
    • ‘Try shoes on both feet and buy the size that best fits the larger foot.’
    • ‘Lydia wore her favorite blue dress, one from Maude's trunk, which Joscelyn had graciously altered to fit her.’
    • ‘It was also clear to me as the viewer that the equipment she was using was not sized to fit her.’
    • ‘Forget about size when choosing clothes and choose something that fits well regardless of size and that's comfortable on you.’
    • ‘Don't get yourself depressed searching for items of clothing that will fit you perfectly off the rack.’
    • ‘She looks sleek in a beige, almost flesh-tone, summer dress and a slightly darker cardigan that fits her like a sealskin.’
    be the right/correct size, be the correct size for, be the right size for, be big/small enough, be big enough for, be small enough for
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Try clothing on (someone) in order to make or alter it to the correct size.
      ‘she was about to be fitted for her costume’
      • ‘The preparations for the engagement event consisted mostly of Marigold and her mother being fitted for gowns at the Earl's expense.’
      • ‘When you are fitted for your tuxedo a small deposit is usually required.’
      • ‘Once I was fitted for my suit they told me it would be done by next week so I'd have enough time to qualify for the race.’
      • ‘The only scars from that 20-minute procedure are four barely visible dots around his head where he was fitted for a protective metal halo.’
      • ‘Others may have looked at it and decided it was time he was fitted for one of those jackets with the long sleeves that tie round the back.’
      • ‘One of the most embarrassing moments in Deirdre's life was when she had to be fitted for protective clothing at work and they had to use two tape measures end to end to go round her.’
    2. 1.2[no object, with adverbial of place]Be of the right size, shape, or number to occupy a particular place.
      ‘Fiona says we can all fit in her car’
      • ‘The shape of the carton fits more conveniently into home freezers.’
      • ‘Actually, most of the girls in the drama club fit into this category.’
      • ‘Amazingly, the hermit crab's body is asymmetrically twisted so that it fits snugly into the shape of the shell.’
      • ‘Picking the strategy that best fits into your schedule will help you maintain optimum weed management.’
      • ‘Unlike other computers, PDAs are lightweight - designed to fit comfortably in a jacket pocket.’
      • ‘Drain the water and set the spears on a plate, and cut them to size so they can fit on top of the muffins without drooping over the sides too much.’
      • ‘The first prototype is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.’
      • ‘Originally a pasty, it developed its characteristic shape to fit better into huntsmen's saddlebags.’
      • ‘Spar have come up with ingenious pocket Eco Bag which is a small, wallet size bag that fits neatly into a pocket or handbag so you're always armed and ready to shop.’
      • ‘These planes are normally characterized by their diminutive size so as to fit comfortably in their user's small hands.’
      • ‘Most of the eight Democratic candidates fit snugly into two categories.’
      • ‘The radio body fits nicely in a jersey pocket.’
      • ‘The slightly ovoid shape fits nicely in your hand.’
      • ‘Cut the slices of bread to a size that will fit inside your soup bowls, and toast them until dark brown on both sides.’
      • ‘Science doesn't usually fit neatly into categories of all good or all bad.’
  • 2Install or fix (something) into place.

    ‘they fitted smoke alarms to their home’
    • ‘One Sunday our neighbour says could I please ask our landlord to fit draft excluders on our front door.’
    • ‘Power assisted steering, fitted as standard, makes manoeuvring the vehicle effortless.’
    • ‘So he came round, and we positioned it and fitted the great drive-belt.’
    • ‘Work began on Monday to fit a disabled lift, due to be installed in May but delayed because the Italian manufacturer wasn't able to supply it until recently.’
    • ‘A restraining net is fitted as standard, as is a decent luggage cover.’
    • ‘Selby fire station has previously held car-seat open days, showing people how to properly fit child seats in cars.’
    • ‘So fitting sensors in the rear rooms of the house and in the hallway is often considered sufficient for the ground floor.’
    • ‘A council spokesman said today there was no council policy of fitting child locks on windows in York, although it did fit locks on replacement windows as a crime prevention measure.’
    • ‘The team can fit grab-rails on staircases and in doorways, fix defective carpets or floor coverings, remove trailing wires and generally reduce trip hazards.’
    • ‘Mr Sanderson said one of the most successful schemes helped the victims of burglary being targeted a second time by swiftly fitting new locks on doors and windows.’
    • ‘These could serve as additional bedrooms and there is plumbing in place to fit a shower room in one of them.’
    • ‘They pronounced the pipework ‘impeccably installed’, and recommended we fit an independent water supply.’
    • ‘Inspectors will look at whether the correct equipment is being used, work platforms are properly installed and scaffolding is securely fitted.’
    • ‘Police are warning homeowners to fit strong locks on sheds and garages, cover windows with old curtains, install an expensive but noisy alarm and ensure that the household insurance policy covers the value of shed contents.’
    • ‘Police have fitted new locks on the windows and doors since the break-in.’
    • ‘The announcement comes just a week after rail bosses responsible for redeveloping the railway station got round to fitting new clocks on the platforms, more than 18 months after the station revamp was completed.’
    • ‘With his help, she has transformed the one-bed house in Crawley, West Sussex, fitting a new bathroom, installing storage, laying flooring and doing plenty of rewiring.’
    • ‘After a medical centre in West Bowling was targeted by vandals, fences were fitted out of the centre's own funds.’
    • ‘If not, why didn't you call a local Sky Installation Engineer to fit your dish?’
    • ‘Adam, our installer, was fitting some other stuff and left to go on to another job whilst I changed 16 of the handles.’
    lay, put in place, put in position, position, place, fix, insert
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Provide (something) with a particular component or article.
      ‘most tools can be fitted with a new handle’
      • ‘Make sure you lock windows and doors, which should be fitted with security deadlocks’
      • ‘Each table is fitted with a grill for you to cook the deliciously marinated meat.’
      • ‘It is hoped the park will be fitted with floodlights and CCTV cameras for extra security.’
      • ‘She claims it was sheer luck that the blaze was caught in time, because her kitchen was not fitted with a smoke alarm.’
      • ‘The bag is fitted with a special alarm programmed to go off if someone reaches inside.’
      • ‘The café has been fitted with a new kitchen and outside seating with parasols.’
      • ‘Their front door was fitted with a Yale lock, two bolts and a security chain.’
      • ‘Typically, a motorcycle may be fitted with a horn that would usually go on a jeep or a truck.’
      • ‘Her cot is fitted with a sleep monitor that sounds an alarm if her breathing stops.’
      • ‘She called for all new properties to be fitted with meters so people were aware how much water they were using.’
      • ‘Fire chiefs yesterday said that lives could have been saved if the house had been fitted with a smoke alarm.’
      • ‘The massive bike was fitted with a stereo and a foghorn to attract the maximum amount of attention.’
      • ‘It is understood the vehicle used by the gang was also fitted with false number plates.’
      • ‘The cars are all left hand drive and had not yet been fitted with tracking devices.’
      • ‘The car was fitted with a roll cage and sports seats and drivers had to wear crash helmets and be strapped in.’
      • ‘The coach was fitted with lap belts but parents are concerned they are inadequate to protect children.’
      • ‘The kitchen has been fitted with new equipment and furniture will be replaced throughout the pub.’
      • ‘The airship will be fitted with cameras and infra-red equipment for night vision.’
      • ‘The traffic car was fitted with child locks in the rear to prevent people escaping.’
      • ‘The room is fitted with special low lighting and window blinds to allow fragile works to be displayed.’
    2. 2.2Join or cause to join together to form a whole.
      [no object] ‘their bodies fitted together perfectly’
      [with object] ‘many physicists tried to fit together the various pieces of the puzzle’
      • ‘The little pieces fit together, each part representing something small but vital.’
      • ‘Extra fuel tanks may need to be fitted together with spare jerricans.’
      • ‘Finding which pieces fit together in order make the complete picture is one of the more difficult tasks.’
      • ‘Instead, when you crack open this thing, all you get are busted pieces that don't fit together and don't work.’
      • ‘Currently sheet metal barriers were being fitted together behind the factory.’
      • ‘The limestone is produced in special moulds and can be fitted together like a jigsaw to form any configuration.’
      • ‘Drawing a plan forces you to think through your project from beginning to end, what you are going to need and how your are going to get the pieces to fit together.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that a certain consistency of outlook is present throughout, but the pieces do not always fit together well.’
      • ‘Seven remain, which can be fitted together with only small gaps.’
      • ‘When these were fitted together, they were hammered to make the joint watertight.’
      • ‘It was a place where two separate pieces of metal fitted together, like the barrel of a lock.’
      • ‘These are fitted together and built up as you need them, providing a versatile solution to changing needs.’
      • ‘What they didn't know is when or if the pieces would fit together.’
      • ‘As the pieces start to fit together the characters' dilemmas begin to take on a different shape.’
      • ‘The seven pieces will never fit together to make any sense.’
      • ‘You know what the picture's going to look like at the end, but you want to see how all the pieces will fit together.’
      • ‘It just brings everything into balance and all the pieces fit together.’
      • ‘He wished to cut them into as few pieces as possible so that they could be fitted together, without waste, to form a perfectly square table-top.’
      • ‘Understanding how the three pieces fit together and what to do about them is a big part of choosing the right project and getting it done.’
      • ‘Once inside you can see how the upper and lower receivers have been carefully fitted together by hand.’
  • 3Be compatible or in agreement with; match.

    ‘the landlord had not seen anyone fitting that description’
    • ‘It was clear that none of the six men who claimed to be at the warehouse could possibly fit the police officer's description.’
    • ‘Fast, simple and delicious, these dishes can be adjusted to fit your schedule, grocery list and occasion.’
    • ‘I'd seen her once or twice at school, and she fitted the description Travis gave me of her perfectly.’
    • ‘However modern scholars claim that Newton sometimes adjusted his calculations to fit his theories.’
    • ‘The Edmonton author, publisher, and former social worker has fit that description for at least 25 years.’
    • ‘I haven't met anyone who fits the commonly held definition of sane.’
    • ‘Dewey observed that this model does not fit what we know about children.’
    • ‘The descriptions the woman gave fitted those of the two girls Tessa had seen before.’
    • ‘He said: ‘It happened in the city centre and the man fits the same physical description.’’
    • ‘I certainly don't fit any of the ideals presented in the media.’
    • ‘In some respects the description had fitted Naylor, while in others it did not.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, no candidate perfectly fits this description.’
    • ‘We can and should form opinions about guilt or innocence in the same as we form other opinions, by choosing the position that best fits the available evidence.’
    • ‘She has adjusted her services to fit the customer's budget.’
    • ‘Canada's judges have moved boldly into the public policy arena, shaping laws to fit their own peculiar biases and ideologies.’
    • ‘So if you fit any of these descriptions and are interested in auditioning, the producers would love to see you.’
    • ‘Take a volunteer position that fits your interest, and may even enhance your career goals.’
    • ‘After a while, a newcomer walks in who perfectly fits the description of the spy her husband gave to her.’
    • ‘I learned that the job description was written to fit the individual whom the department wanted to hire.’
    • ‘Ten minutes later there were a number of sightings close to the Brittons' home of a man fitting Mark Hobson's description.’
    1. 3.1Be suitable or appropriate for.
      ‘the punishment should fit the crime’
      • ‘But it must be for independent judges, not party political ministers, to decide what particular punishment fits what particular crime.’
      • ‘Plus, they come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit your specific needs.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, regulations, society and employers' attitudes have not been adjusted to fit the new situation.’
      • ‘To some no punishment fits such a crime, and these people honestly believe the murderers deserve no sympathy at all.’
      • ‘That means criminalizing behavior such as the spreading of viruses and setting up a punishment that fits the resulting economic damage.’
      • ‘The great vocal melody is still there, and the arrangement on the album fits the theme of the song.’
      • ‘Are separate vacations in our future, or is there a destination that can fit us both?’
      • ‘The sound effects are used suitably and fit perfectly in the game.’
      • ‘My dad suggested getting a one-level house and adjusting it to fit her needs, but she flat-out refused.’
      • ‘They can adjust their temperature to fit their surroundings.’
    2. 3.2(of an attribute, qualification, or skill) make (someone) suitable to fulfil a particular role or undertake a particular task.
      ‘an MSc fits the student for a professional career’
      • ‘I was playing the part of Polonius - a part my mature years obviously fitted me for.’
      • ‘Dr Cherry's specialisation and experience fitted him ideally for involvement in the development of the project.’
      • ‘One biographer assumes that he was a boy of somewhat ordinary talents that would fit him only for the mercantile trade.’
      • ‘His passion for lists, dates and details fits him well for this task.’
      • ‘His freshness, his directness and his capacity for making connections with people both in person and on the television screen certainly fitted him for the task.’
      • ‘He regarded his own intellectual gifts and cast of mind as properly fitting him for the task.’

noun

  • 1The particular way in which something, especially a garment or component, fits.

    ‘the dress was a perfect fit’
    • ‘We look at clothing as an investment, so we consider the quality of a garment as well as the fit.’
    • ‘A belt that doesn't have holes is even easier, as it's fully adjustable for a perfect fit.’
    • ‘The firm has developed mathematical algorithms to simulate fabric drape and garment fit.’
    • ‘All new windows offer a tight fit between components to limit the rate of infiltration.’
    • ‘However, the shoulder seam plays a key role in the fit of garments that cover the upper body.’
    • ‘It means a lot to me; I didn't exchange it for the correct fit because I wanted the original one.’
    • ‘Sometimes, you can help the fit of your garments by sewing these darts a little differently.’
    • ‘Is your saddle a correct fit and not put too far up the back.’
    • ‘The harness is adjusted on the shoulder and waist straps for a perfect fit.’
    • ‘Again, I strongly encourage choosing pants with a drawstring or an elastic waistband for an easy fit.’
    • ‘If you find a pair of black pants or a skirt that are the perfect fit, consider buying more than one pair.’
    • ‘The pants have a roomy cargo pocket on the right leg and unhemmed cuffs so woman hunters can achieve the perfect fit.’
    • ‘I got up and borrowed a pair of Jon's jeans which were the perfect fit.’
    • ‘The dress was fabulous, a perfect fit, slim fitting with two thin shoulder straps and a more loose, flowing bottom part that ended just above the knee.’
    • ‘You might want to get your shirts altered at waist level to give them a slimmer fit.’
    • ‘Despite the general lack of fit, the best fitting model seems to be the one-factor model.’
    • ‘Both the skirt and shirt were a perfect fit.’
    • ‘Not every shirt or jeans will have a perfect fit for everybody.’
    • ‘Perfect fit is accomplished when garments just skim the body, without pulling or sagging.’
    • ‘The pants feature a full elastic waistband and cuffs for a comfortable fit.’
    1. 1.1The particular way in which things match.
      ‘a close fit between teachers' qualifications and their teaching responsibilities’
      • ‘The band may be sore because there's a close fit between their own fan base and the kind of campus kids who have got into illegal downloading big time.’
      • ‘Marketing is a dynamic process of ensuring a close fit between the capabilities of an organization and the demands placed upon it by its external environment.’
      • ‘A great deal of the power and impact of the preached Word comes from the fit between the preacher and the words being preached.’
      • ‘It is also a way to gain knowledge of what is a good fit or match for your personality type.’
      • ‘The nurse must carefully examine the fit between the diagnosis and the client for whom it is intended.’
      • ‘There's a very good fit between the ideals of our two organisations.’
    2. 1.2Statistics
      The correspondence between observed data and the values expected by theory.
      • ‘The greatest deviation from a good fit between the component figures occurs near the proximal end.’
      • ‘A smaller ratio score signifies good fit, and values near 2.0 are considered acceptable.’
      • ‘Accurate measurements of these parameters could lead to a better fit of the theory to experiment.’
      • ‘The results indicate a good overall fit of the model.’
      • ‘A thermal history involving two discrete episodes of heating and cooling clearly provides the best fit to the measured data.’

Phrases

  • (as) fit as a fiddle

    • In very good health.

      • ‘My immediate impression was that, if anything, the smiling, goodhumoured Dan, who looked fit as a fiddle, appeared to have got a few years younger.’
      • ‘‘I had my share of publicity when I was young,’ says Joe Isaacs, now 81 and fit as a fiddle.’
      • ‘What keeps him youthful, healthy and fit as a fiddle?’
      • ‘He's as fit as a fiddle of course, lean and strong, just like a good Welsh farm cat should be.’
      • ‘When he took that dramatic fall last year, when he looks exhausted and looks pale, as he often does, sometimes he disappears from public view, but then he reappears looking fit as a fiddle and full of energy.’
      • ‘I'm no spring chicken any more but I feel fit as a fiddle and if I can help beat the Germans, I'm sure as hell not going to be beaten in a little scrap like this.’
      • ‘‘Before the war I was fit as a fiddle - now sometimes I can barely get out of bed,’ he said.’
      • ‘Now imagine being turned down or paying exorbitant sums for life insurance and health coverage by companies that deem you too high a risk even though you feel fit as a fiddle.’
      • ‘For fitness buffs, summer is the best time to keep fit as a fiddle.’
      • ‘Rufus has been fit as a fiddle lately except for a cough which didn't seem to bother him or his appetite.’
      robust, healthy, in good health, hale and hearty, strong, strong as an horse, strong as an lion, strong as an ox, sturdy, fine, fit, in good condition, in tip-top condition, in good shape, in good trim, in good kilter
      View synonyms
  • fit for purpose

    • (of an institution, facility, etc.) well equipped or well suited for its designated role or purpose.

      • ‘Murray is, at the moment, not fit for purpose.’
      • ‘A policy of armed neutrality with an emphasis on quality kit, fit for purpose.’
      • ‘Validation means making sure the information the customer sends you is fit for purpose.’
      • ‘Five years in Iraq demonstrated that the vehicle was not fit for purpose.’
      • ‘Product specification/quality not fit for purpose or meet regulatory standards.’
      • ‘Quality is inextricably linked with being fit for purpose.’
      • ‘The only approximation of the classification which could have been created would not have been fit for purpose.’
      • ‘Everyone except the government seems to have acknowledged that the assessment system is no longer fit for purpose.’
      • ‘A high quality attractive, "fit for purpose" estate does not come cheap.’
      • ‘What is currently on offer is simply not fit for purpose, in terms of funding or scale.’
  • fit for a king (or queen)

    • Of very high quality.

      ‘your bedroom is fit for a king’
      • ‘You love luxury and sensual comforts such as silky satin sheets, robes fit for a king or queen and beautiful surroundings.’
      • ‘The city hall is taking steps to make an arts and cultural centre fit for a queen.’
      • ‘New windows, a brighter floral display, and an external paint job have left the place fit for a queen.’
      • ‘We grill up a feast fit for a king.’
      • ‘One can quickly whip up a meal fit for a king or queen.’
  • fit like a glove

  • fit the bill

    • see bill
      • ‘They clucked and fussed and were fit to be tied at the wanton waste they witnessed.’
      • ‘Those wee ones love the man and are fit to be tied when it's time for him to leave.’
      • ‘We know that his family was fit to be tied with him during that time, and for good reason.’
      • ‘I listen to her set out her latest jargon-laden agenda for interfering in the lives and habits of British families, and after a few paragraphs I am afraid I am fit to be tied.’
      • ‘When she learns from the doctor that she's not sick after all but sound as a dollar, she's fit to be tied.’
  • fit to be tied

    • informal Very angry.

      ‘Daddy was fit to be tied when I separated from Hugh’
      • ‘They clucked and fussed and were fit to be tied at the wanton waste they witnessed.’
      • ‘We know that his family was fit to be tied with him during that time, and for good reason.’
      • ‘Those wee ones love the man and are fit to be tied when it's time for him to leave.’
      • ‘When she learns from the doctor that she's not sick after all but sound as a dollar, she's fit to be tied.’
      • ‘I listen to her set out her latest jargon-laden agenda for interfering in the lives and habits of British families, and after a few paragraphs I am afraid I am fit to be tied.’
      livid, furious, angry, infuriated, irate, fuming, raging, seething, incensed, enraged, angered, beside oneself, wrathful, ireful, maddened, cross, annoyed, irritated, exasperated, indignant
      mad, boiling, wild, hot under the collar, foaming at the mouth, steamed up
      View synonyms
  • fit to bust

    • informal With great energy.

      ‘they laughed fit to bust’
      • ‘I looked on in disbelief and her mother walked in and started screaming fit to bust.’
      • ‘The brother she mentioned is laughing fit to bust.’
      • ‘Now, late in the evening, it's blowing fit to bust outside.’
      • ‘Already, his kitchen was full of brightly clad, bright-faced students talking fit to bust, helping themselves to coffee, and to stuff out of the pantry.’
      • ‘Algernon laughed sufficiently for the two of them, wheezing and hee-hee-heeing fit to bust, having to support himself on Simpson's shoulder.’
      • ‘It might be that they have snow blizzards up in Scotland just now but down here we've got grass growing, buds budding, and, to my great delight, huge swathes of snowdrops, flowering fit to bust.’
      • ‘Everywhere you go there's someone coughing fit to bust and looking miserable, or cross, or plain old-fashioned resigned to their fate.’
      • ‘The flower beds are brimming with rhododendrons, the birds are singing fit to bust.’
      • ‘I get a face full of sherbet, in my eyes and up my nose and I'm coughing fit to bust.’
      • ‘An hour later I woke from a vivid dream with my heart pounding away fit to bust.’
  • see (or think) fit

    • Consider it correct or acceptable to do something.

      ‘why did the company see fit to give you the job?’
      • ‘You may add or subtract from my suggested text as you see fit, but please keep it polite.’
      • ‘Feel free to choose more or less as you see fit, but please explain why you picked them.’
      • ‘I have not had any academic training in film-making and planned the shots the way I thought fit.’
      • ‘Over the next six months, consider all your career options and make changes as you see fit.’
      • ‘He needs to raise some money, so if you see fit, please make a donation.’
      • ‘The prime minister is free to do as he pleases when he sees fit.’
      • ‘I am sure the learned trial judge felt she did her best to consider the arguments and rule as she saw fit, according to law.’
      • ‘I told the news editor he could break all the rules and do as he thought fit on the front page.’
      • ‘Once it was confirmed that there was no further asbestos the site would be vested in the community, which could decide to use or dispose of it as they thought fit.’
      • ‘I am pretty shocked that you thought fit to send this email out today.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • fit in

    • 1Be socially compatible with other members of a group.

      ‘he feels he should become tough to fit in with his friends’
      • ‘Early on, his drinking was linked to loneliness and an inability to fit in socially with his fellow players.’
      • ‘Does your teen have trouble fitting in at school?’
      • ‘She was confident of fitting in socially but, during her first term, the workload caused a few concerns.’
      • ‘On an endless search for what is needed to fit in and be socially acceptable, all sense of self is lost.’
      • ‘They may have poor social skills, have problems fitting in and probably cannot meet the expectations of their family or school.’
      • ‘I never fitted in with the cool kids, and trying to do so was making me unhappy as a teenager.’
      • ‘I never fitted in with the Catholic community of my home.’
      • ‘Other issues included feelings of social isolation, with students saying they had difficulties fitting in because of a culture clash between university and their home life.’
      • ‘What if he realized how little she fitted in with those he loved?’
      conform, be in harmony, belong, blend in
      accord, agree, concur, be in line
      be assimilated into
      match, square with
      click
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Be in harmony with other elements in a situation.
        ‘her project fitted in with the organization's general aims’
        • ‘People were satisfied and extremely elated with the overall results, as they fitted in with the concept of a truly national party, even on face value.’
        • ‘He said the deals were ‘a good package’ and fitted in with their strategy of expanding on both sides of the Atlantic.’
        • ‘Helen Kidman, chairman of Ilkley Civic Society, said the guide was meant to inspire finer architecture that fitted in with the surrounding area.’
        • ‘It was none the less an amusing portrayal, which fitted in with the high spirits of the evening if not into the household.’
        • ‘The drive to increase access to universities fits in with New Labour pronouncements on social inclusion and the ilk.’
        • ‘‘We picked up the project because it was a good idea and because it fitted in with our health agenda,’ said a spokesman.’
        • ‘This fitted in with the free trade approach of the time.’
        • ‘Needless to say, the service was attentive, without being overbearing, and fitted in with the relaxed, classy atmosphere.’
        • ‘This fits in perfectly with the general social and economic policy of the SPD-Green government.’
        • ‘Throughout the meal we were treated to a varied array of music which fitted in with the friendly atmosphere of the pub.’
      2. 1.2Constitute part of a situation or larger structure.
        ‘I don't think I fit into his plans for next season’
        • ‘Where did you see yourself fitting into all that?’
        • ‘How do you see those alliances fitting into your long-term business plan?’
        • ‘Where do you see broadband and videostreaming fitting into your plans?’
        • ‘It certainly fits into my plans to really look at mammals to understand birds better.’
        • ‘We don't have any children of our own yet but I don't see how any child of ours would fit into such a situation.’
        • ‘He has been in tremendous form and is a fantastic talent who fits into Saints' future plans.’
        • ‘He has not been hampered by timidity or uncertainty, fitting into the side with calm assurance and revealing the extent of his ability.’
        • ‘She just wasn't fitting into his plan at all tonight.’
        • ‘What I hope is that the coaching staff and my team-mates think that I'm steadily getting better as a player and fitting into the team.’
        • ‘They are training very hard and have acquired a number of new players this year that are fitting into the team very well.’
  • fit someone/thing in (or into)

    • 1Find room or have sufficient space for someone or something.

      ‘can you fit any more water into the jug?’
      • ‘I have been focusing on fitting my things into the very limited space this apartment affords.’
      • ‘Do you think that some people don't realise that there is a trade off, that okay if you don't want to have high-rise, you're going to have to take up more space to fit people in?’
      • ‘The space inside seems too small to fit the elaborate furniture in the room.’
      • ‘There is enough room to fit the power cable in there, but I think a bit more space would make it easier for people with large hands to connect and disconnect the cable.’
      • ‘I have, however, seen that people with slightly larger cars have experienced difficulty trying to fit their cars into the spaces.’
      • ‘He disappeared without payment when he had completed the extraordinary task of fitting a spiral staircase into a space deemed impossibly small.’
      • ‘There was not enough room to fit people in and no access for the disabled.’
      • ‘And it could be the answer to the prayers of weekend shoppers who frequently struggle to fit their vehicles into precious spaces.’
      • ‘He only just fit his belongings into the room, cramming his clothes and most of his toys into the roll-out drawers and using the shelves for his books and stand-alone objects.’
      • ‘If your club/organisation is missing out on valuable publicity for vital fundraising events, we will always find space each week to fit you in.’
      1. 1.1Succeed in finding time in a busy schedule to see someone or do something.
        ‘I could fit you in at 3.45 this afternoon’
        • ‘How do you fit your workouts into such a busy schedule?’
        • ‘The organisers were hoping the champion runner would fit the event into her busy schedule.’
        • ‘I fitted my degree into a busy fire service life - it was a case of interrupted study for six years.’
        • ‘Mr Simpson said on both occasions that he was unable to fit the openings into his busy calendar of events.’
        • ‘We've been looking to play this venue for ages, because it is such a good reputation, but either we were busy or they were busy and couldn't fit us in.’
        • ‘Johnny raised his eyebrows and shrugged, ‘I suppose I could fit you into my extremely busy schedule.’’
        • ‘I tried to eat well and exercised when I could fit it into my busy life.’
        • ‘Added to the business of choosing a topic, I must also consider where I will fit the actual writing into my schedule.’
        • ‘This enabled her to decide when she worked and to fit it in around her busy schedule, which included picking up the kids from school.’
        • ‘Just follow our 10 steps for fitting a new activity into an already busy lifestyle, and you'll be sure to achieve success.’
  • fit someone/thing out (or up)

    • Provide someone or something with the necessary equipment, clothes, or other items for a particular situation.

      ‘the cabin had been fitted out to a high standard’
      • ‘The next four weeks will be very busy fitting it out with furniture and equipment and making it clinically clean.’
      • ‘The cells are fitted out with televisions, sanitary and tea making facilities.’
      • ‘The interior of both buildings are fitted out with the highest of standards of modern fittings.’
      • ‘The Learning and Skills Council spent £40,000 on refurbishing space at the station, fitting it out with six new computers with Internet access, printers, a digital camera and scanner.’
      • ‘And the opportunity is not restricted to the able-bodied - the vessel is fitted out to accommodate people of all types of physical ability and disability.’
      • ‘The bathrooms are fitted out in granite, oak and glass.’
      • ‘On leaving the school the boys were fitted out with clothes and given a bible and a Book Of Common Prayer.’
      • ‘These houses are fitted up in first-rate style, with gas and water laid on.’
      • ‘He said doctors on duty will have a taxi available to them at all times to drive them to patients and the car will be fitted out with high quality medical equipment, like a mini-ambulance.’
      • ‘The properties can be fitted out at a cost of €15,000.’
      equip, provide, supply, furnish, kit out, rig out, outfit, accoutre, array, stock
      View synonyms
  • fit someone up

    • Incriminate someone by falsifying evidence against them.

      • ‘The confessor's claims that Stuart had been fitted up shook the parochial world of late 1950s Australia, a country just waking up to the notion of civil rights.’
      • ‘Thus does the movie have its cake and eat it: the drama and glamour of real mob violence, plus the sentimental suggestion that our Charlie was fitted up.’
      • ‘He admitted in early 1997 he was a prime suspect for the murder and conducted a series of interviews denying the charge and claiming police were out to fit him up.’
      • ‘We need people who have the skills to smell out somebody who comes along to try to fit us up.’
      • ‘He told the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs he had been fitted up with the help of covert recordings for falsely accusing police officers of corruption.’
      • ‘He added: ‘After 27 years of being a thorn in the side of the police they fitted him up for something serious to put him away for a long time.’’
      • ‘Your basic complaint is that they fitted you up for something you did not do.’
      • ‘That was a really pathetic job of fitting someone up.’
      falsely incriminate, entrap, fabricate charges against, fabricate evidence against
      frame, set up
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

fit

/fɪt/

Main definitions of fit in English

: fit1fit2fit3

fit2

noun

  • 1A sudden attack of convulsions and/or loss of consciousness, typical of epilepsy and some other medical conditions.

    ‘the child had frequent fits’
    • ‘Concerned about the number of fits Slater was having, her doctor decided to operate to disconnect the right and left hemispheres of her brain.’
    • ‘Julie Ann now suffers from daily fits and seizures.’
    • ‘Kirstie has had epilepsy since she was 18 and until recently suffered daily epileptic fits.’
    • ‘She cannot work as she now suffers frequent, violent epileptic fits.’
    • ‘Othello, told by Iago that Cassio has admitted sleeping with Desdemona, falls into a fit.’
    • ‘If the child has a history of epilepsy, it can be difficult to tell the difference between febrile convulsions and epileptic fits.’
    • ‘He collapsed and died suddenly after not suffering an epileptic fit for several years.’
    • ‘If the child has fits, they may be prescribed anticonvulsant drugs.’
    • ‘His master and friends all said he was a clever, well-behaved boy, and had never been known to have fits, or walk in his sleep.’
    • ‘The problems began after the woman was admitted to a medical ward in a local hospital suffering from fits and nightmares.’
    • ‘One prisoner suffered an epileptic fit, and all the others shouted for help.’
    • ‘Always phone for an ambulance if a fit lasts longer than five minutes.’
    • ‘Febrile convulsions are fits that sometimes happen in a child with a high temperature.’
    • ‘It is believed he suffered a fit as he was watching a football match.’
    • ‘During this state one keeps on getting epileptic fits without regaining consciousness in between.’
    • ‘Her ordeal began in November when she started having fits and convulsions despite no previous history of health problems.’
    • ‘His frequent fits result in painful injuries, and medication has failed to control the traumatic episodes.’
    • ‘Her sister, Lucy, suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy and is often treated in York Hospital for fits and chest infections.’
    • ‘Alexandra has cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair and suffers from frequent epileptic fits.’
    • ‘At his parents' Flamborough home, his condition worsened, and he suffered several prolonged epileptic fits.’
    convulsion, spasm, paroxysm, seizure, attack
    View synonyms
  • 2A sudden short period of uncontrollable coughing, laughter, etc.

    • ‘We where in the middle of singing when I had a coughing fit.’
    • ‘Michelle burst into a fit of giggles, rolling back onto her tiny bunk.’
    • ‘Next she would burst into a fit of sobbing, wailing on and on about how good she had been to him.’
    • ‘One rehearsal we were supposed to look lovingly into each other's eyes but kept bursting into uncontrollable fits of laughter.’
    • ‘Victor whacked her hard on the back and Antonia burst into a fit of coughs.’
    • ‘The first day, she had burst into a fit of coughs after opening her mouth only having to have a fly swarm into her mouth.’
    • ‘In fits of laughter, he told them I was his son.’
    • ‘They burst into a fit of giggles once again and collapsed onto the floor, each pulling their piece of the supposed French ensemble off and placing it on the floor between them.’
    • ‘She seemed to dissolve into hysterical fits of laughter when she looked at me.’
    • ‘He also has a name that reduces grown men to uncontrollable laughing fits at the slightest mention.’
    • ‘He muffled his sudden fit of laughter, coughing rather violently to disguise it.’
    • ‘One of the kids standing behind him broke out into an uncontrollable fit of giggles.’
    • ‘And as he watched her in confusion, Shelley's chuckle turned into an uncontrollable, hysterical fit of laughter.’
    • ‘Her eyes danced with amusement and then she burst into a fit of giggles.’
    • ‘Promptly she was seized by a sneezing fit again.’
    • ‘She kept erupting into fits of maniacal chuckles at some secret joke.’
    • ‘I'm sure you all have experienced those sudden fits of laughter that make you cry and make your sides hurt and you want to stop but you can't?’
    • ‘Francesca tried to cover her giggles by throwing a coughing fit.’
    • ‘The match flew by as the fans went through fits of shouting, singing, tension and passion.’
    • ‘She whispered this last part to me and we both had a fit of giggles.’
    outbreak, outburst, burst, attack, bout, spell, eruption, explosion, flare-up, blow-up
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A sudden burst of intense emotion.
      ‘he had killed her in a fit of jealous rage’
      • ‘Hearing such music does not usually send you into a fit of rage immediately.’
      • ‘If at all he became angry, he would keep quiet rather than burst out in a fit of temper.’
      • ‘Another time, while Elie is working at the electrical warehouse, he goes on one of his fits of rage and beats the boy.’
      • ‘He was frantically jealous, beat her, begged forgiveness in fits of remorse which became as repellent as his rage, and demanded she abort the pregnancy that came along in the second month of the hasty match.’
      • ‘Lisa suffers from fits of sudden rage and unbearable fatigue.’
      • ‘Alex is extremely intelligent with a propensity for fits of anger and uncontrollable rage.’
      • ‘In a fit of fury Calvert who was known to be a violent and irrational person burst into Smedleys home and hurled a heavy stone ornament at him.’
      • ‘He lives off the earnings of his wife, Eva, succumbs to fits of paranoia and anger, engages in a desultory affair, hates the physical decay around him and is haunted by the prospect of death.’
      • ‘He even had his own wife murdered in a fit of jealousy.’
      • ‘Reane, in a fit of pure rage, slashed him across the back.’
      • ‘To leave now would suggest that he'd gone in a fit of pique.’
      • ‘Yes, authors and creators can suffer fits of pique that can hurt the markets for secondary works.’
      • ‘He is prone to fits of jealousy when he sees Primrose in the company of another male.’
      • ‘The model is already facing claims from three former assistants who say she allegedly assaulted them in fits of rage.’
      • ‘He was suddenly seized by a fit of panic.’
      • ‘Her mother's fits of anger and the threats and beatings dealt to the girl resolve themselves in a grudging acceptance of the financial favours handed out by the lover.’
      • ‘He acknowledges these fits of anger, such as the one that caused him to slay his wife with an ax, but he nevertheless shows some remorse for what he has done.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Have an epileptic fit.

    ‘he started fitting uncontrollably’
    • ‘He had had no medication and so he was fitting four to five times a day.’
    • ‘She fitted twice more on the way up, the second time slipping dangerously out of the chair at the top of some steps.’
    • ‘He has been fitting every day for the last six days.’

Phrases

  • give someone a fit

    • informal Greatly shock or anger someone.

      • ‘Should I go see Mr. Mercader tonight and give Brexton a fit, or go home?’
      • ‘My liking of jam and cheese sandwiches always gave my mum a fit.’
      • ‘Bugs, and anything that crawled, used to give her a fit.’
      • ‘Emma has another tooth that came through Saturday night, but it gave her a fit!’
  • have (or throw) a fit

    • informal Be very shocked or angry.

      • ‘The rental company is sent away by the filming crew and my friend's husband throws a fit.’
      • ‘If people don't want to listen to what he wants to listen to, he throws a fit.’
      • ‘Mother will be having a fit if she knows I'm sitting out in the cold air - for even though it seems warm she'll fuss.’
      • ‘His mother had a fit, so they married again on New Year's Day 1937, this time with the family present.’
      • ‘Better get a move on so mother doesn't throw a fit when I get back.’
      • ‘This hardly seems like the kind of thing to be throwing a fit about.’
      • ‘You know my mother will throw a fit if she sees me like this.’
      • ‘My mother would have a fit if she knew I spent a lot of time at Deane's.’
      • ‘They were used to him throwing a fit when he was in bad mood.’
      • ‘I was in a line of folks standing behind a woman at the bookstore who was throwing a fit because the clerk could not find the copy of The Great Gatsby she'd called to reserve.’
  • in fits (of laughter)

    • informal Highly amused.

      ‘he had us all in fits’
      • ‘At one point, she had the audience in fits.’
      • ‘Once we were out of harm's way, we all ended up breaking down in fits of uncontrollable laughter - partly to relieve the tension of the near-miss situation, but mostly because of the absurdity of what had just happened.’
      • ‘Peter had one of the locals in fits of laughter when he was doing a line dance.’
      • ‘Both the staging and acting are universally superb and we were in fits of laughter throughout.’
      • ‘For starters, I was in fits of laughter at the sight of him, and his swearing and shouting just made me worse.’
      • ‘We collapsed in fits, the tutor had overheard and was almost wetting herself, and the 5 others were demanding to know what we'd said.’
      • ‘His quick wit and confident delivery had the audience in fits of laughter.’
      • ‘There was a time when circus was a popular form of entertainment - with acrobats and bold ring-masters to whose crack of the whip wild animals played awesome tricks and the clowns left packed audiences in fits.’
      • ‘Eventually, after half an hour rolling around on the floor in fits of laughter, I managed to regain my composure.’
      • ‘The rest of us collapsed in fits of laughter at poor old Dave.’
  • in (or by) fits and starts

    • With irregular bursts of activity.

      ‘the economy was recovering in fits and starts’
      • ‘We played in fits and starts and never really clicked and opened up, but we're happy with the points.’
      • ‘It was built in 1961, and it's been renovated in fits and starts, so it's sort of an architectural Frankenstein.’
      • ‘However, like in any sport, those who play well throughout the whole contest - not just in fits and starts - more often than not end up victorious.’
      • ‘All too often, science progresses in fits and starts, re-examining data, reinterpreting evidence - a path that can be hard to accept in medicine, when answers are needed now.’
      • ‘I've started adding mine, but it'll be done in fits and starts…’
      • ‘Progress has come in fits and starts and is still fragile.’
      • ‘Like my wife's slimming programme, this year's harvest is going in fits and starts, punctuated by incredibly hot days of activity and frustrating rest periods.’
      • ‘The Roman occupation of Britain advanced in fits and starts with the occasional disaster - the bloody revolt of Queen Boadicea in 61 AD is the best known example.’
      • ‘The improvement came slowly, sporadically, in fits and starts.’
      • ‘The poetry is moving forward in fits and starts.’
      spasmodically, intermittently, sporadically, erratically, irregularly, interruptedly, fitfully, haphazardly, on and off, off and on, now and then, now and again
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English fitt ‘conflict’, in Middle English position of danger or excitement, also ‘short period’; the sense ‘sudden attack of illness’ dates from the mid 16th century.

Pronunciation:

fit

/fɪt/

Main definitions of fit in English

: fit1fit2fit3

fit3

(also fytte)

noun

Archaic
  • A section of a poem.

    • ‘When the knight is introduced in a later fytte of the poem, he is called Sir Richard-at-the-Lee.’
    • ‘Percy has written a long ballad in many fits: it is pretty enough.’
    • ‘The balance of this first fytte consists mostly of lengthy dialogue detailing the knight's impoverishment.’

Origin

Old English fitt, perhaps the same word as fit, or related to German Fitze skein of yarn, in the obsolete sense ‘thread with which weavers mark off a day's work’.

Pronunciation:

fit

/fɪt/