Definition of sedentary in English:



  • 1(of a person) tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive:

    ‘we all walk a certain amount every day even if we are sedentary’
    • ‘Unfortunately, I am the most sedentary person there is.’
    • ‘These results are in startling contrast with studies conducted with sedentary people.’
    • ‘If implemented widely, such a strategy could result in major health benefits for sedentary people.’
    • ‘If you're relatively sedentary, then you'll need less.’
    • ‘In addition, 78 percent of Americans do not meet basic activity level recommendations and 25 percent are completely sedentary.’
    • ‘On your day off you don't need to be completely sedentary.’
    • ‘Thus, a well-trained athlete may have a more developed endogenous antioxidant system than a sedentary person.’
    • ‘Few people are so sedentary that they don't move around for at least one hour in the day.’
    • ‘If you are a sedentary person, that's a strike against you, because weight-bearing exercise increases the health of bones.’
    • ‘For a sedentary person, disease risk becomes significantly higher when BMI exceeds 27.’
    • ‘Along with larger portions of more fattening food, Americans have become increasingly sedentary over the last couple of decades.’
    • ‘Are you going to slip back and be the sedentary person everyone expects, or are you going to stick up for yourself?’
    • ‘The Governor said walking was essential for sedentary people to keep the system in trim.’
    • ‘Holman said Aaron's lifestyle in general was relatively sedentary.’
    • ‘Being a completely sedentary person myself, I'm very impressed by people who stay fit.’
    • ‘Moderately active fat people have far lower mortality rates than do thin sedentary people, and the same death rates as thin active people.’
    • ‘Recent studies have also shown that children around the world are becoming increasingly sedentary, especially in poor urban areas.’
    • ‘So sedentary people often gain weight gradually.’
    • ‘Compared with more sedentary people, athletes display greater skin perfusion for the same increase in core temperature.’
    • ‘This does not always mean that they are sedentary.’
    sitting, seated, desk-bound, desk, inactive, still, stationary
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    1. 1.1 (of work or a way of life) characterized by much sitting and little physical exercise:
      ‘a sedentary lifestyle spells bad news for hips and thighs’
      • ‘Sedentary behaviour was higher in overweight children in the intervention group.’
      • ‘I find that he is capable of performing at least sedentary tasks up to five days a week for five to six hours each day.’
      • ‘But if you've also learned unhealthy eating habits and sedentary ways from your family, you'll need to change your lifestyle.’
      • ‘Bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyle play a role in the onset of diabetes.’
      • ‘But we burn off fewer of them because of our more sedentary lifestyles.’
      • ‘I was fat for about 10 years living in France and the US with mainly sedentary work and abundance of food to eat.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, heavy work in industry and agriculture has mostly been replaced by sedentary activities in service industries.’
      • ‘Haemorrhoids are not caused by sitting on cold hard surfaces, prolonged standing or sedentary work.’
      • ‘Patients returned to sedentary work after 1 week and to strenuous work after 5 to 6 months.’
      • ‘We found no significant difference in physical activity or sedentary behaviour for the sample as a whole.’
      • ‘My body had begun to stiffen up after many years of sedentary work as a therapist.’
      • ‘He mentioned TV and computer activity, and that work is more sedentary.’
      • ‘Approximately 55% report a sedentary lifestyle and 26% have no leisure-time physical activity.’
      • ‘Other sedentary activities - playing video and computer games or talking on the phone - also should be limited.’
      • ‘In addition to increasing physical activity, decreasing sedentary activity is also important.’
      • ‘Having arrived at the waterside, the angler goes into sedentary mode, where he exerts very little energy, and becomes easily cooled.’
      • ‘A sedentary lifestyle without at least moderate physical activity is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.’
      • ‘Society in general has also become increasingly sedentary.’
      • ‘Her project implicitly calls for a slower, more sedentary mode of existence.’
      • ‘Twelve were allocated to aerobic and strength training, and six led more sedentary lifestyles.’
      sitting, seated, desk-bound, desk, inactive, still, stationary
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    2. 1.2 (of a position) sitting; seated:
      ‘he spoke from a sedentary position’
      • ‘This time, Taras, only for a crisp moment, acted tentative in taking the sedentary position.’
      • ‘The UK won 30 medals 19, of which were won from a sedentary position.’
      • ‘Then I notice that in this sedentary position, the whole ensemble rides up around my waist.’
      • ‘Similarly, Toronto festivalgoers can see the world every year without leaving a sedentary position.’
      • ‘Normally, when one stood up from a sedentary position, one's mind would be unequal in circulatory oxygen than the rest of the body.’
      sitting, seated, desk-bound, desk, inactive, still, stationary
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Zoology Anthropology Inhabiting the same locality throughout life; not migratory or nomadic:
      ‘a tribe of sedentary agriculturists’
      • ‘Falconids can be sedentary or migratory.’
      • ‘The fish that were sedentary during the summer inhabited the deepest holes of the river.’
      • ‘Even a relatively sedentary species can be listed if a significant proportion of its number migrate.’
      • ‘The contrast with sedentary tribes could not, at first sight, be more marked.’
      • ‘Some species of ovenbirds are migratory, others are sedentary.’
    4. 1.4Zoology (of an animal) sessile.
      • ‘Most studies of invertebrate larval metamorphosis have been performed with species that are sedentary or sessile as adults.’
      • ‘The walls and sea floor consist of stark boulders and rough seams of rock uncolonised by sedentary species.’
      • ‘Finally, this normally sedentary animal inflated a muscular cone at its base to lever itself free from its moorings and danced away in the water column.’
      • ‘At first it seemed that it was just a sedentary pest in residential plantings, where it could be controlled with dormant oil or insecticidal soap sprays.’
      • ‘Shake the crab harder, and you may dislodge tiny sea stars feeding on oysters and mussels, or sea urchins scavenging for seaweed and sedentary invertebrates.’


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘not migratory’): from French sédentaire or Latin sedentarius, from sedere sit.