Definition of seat in US English:



  • 1A thing made or used for sitting on, such as a chair or stool.

    • ‘From her seat at the kitchen table, Miri took a small sip of her tea and swung one leg toward the housekeeper.’
    • ‘Benches are more flexible than stools or individual seats because you can squeeze in more people along them.’
    • ‘Milly gave him a radiant smile and ushered him into the room, onto one of the seats at the kitchen table.’
    • ‘He was now taking a seat on the swivel chair that went with the desk.’
    • ‘The stone furniture includes cupboards, beds and seats.’
    • ‘Jenny and Jim watched him get up passively from his seat at the kitchen table.’
    • ‘She returned to her seat at the writing desk just as Richard and Adam entered the room.’
    • ‘Barron's enthusiastic in his greetings until he realizes the only empty seat is next to me.’
    • ‘Maddy slid into his creative writing desk, several seats away from where Linda had been sitting for a while.’
    • ‘She talks sitting perched on the edge of a seat in her sitting room, her arms neatly folded in her lap.’
    • ‘One improvement is its over all look: the re-upholstered seats, new tables, carpets in the front room and the clean and fresh feel of the place.’
    • ‘I sat down in the white chair while Dr. Clark took a seat on a stool that sat to my left.’
    • ‘She escaped to the solace of the dark bedchamber, easily finding the window bench seat without a candle.’
    • ‘She took a vacant seat at the table and looked over the map as well.’
    • ‘Those who attend school are often seen walking there carrying tins or plastic or wooden stools as seats since many school have no furniture.’
    • ‘Walking quickly back into my home from the mailbox, I went to the kitchen and plopped down in a seat at the dining table.’
    • ‘There are only so many seats around the cabinet table.’
    • ‘Keith watches me from his seat at the kitchen table, his eyes are a mix of anger, amazement and confusion.’
    • ‘The interiors have soft colours, stone and cement walls, wooden cushioned seats and sofas in the A / C room.’
    • ‘The stage was marvellously decorated to look like a shabby pub with its bar stools, spongy seats, Guinness mirrors and jukebox.’
    chair, place, space
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The roughly horizontal part of a chair, on which one's weight rests directly.
      • ‘Theresa smiled faintly at me, a sideways smile because her head was still resting on the toilet seat.’
      • ‘In the middle of the room was round, low table surrounded by a couch with two seats and three chairs.’
      • ‘Filthy, smelly toilets: flooded, missing their seats, and covered in obscene graffiti.’
      • ‘Invariably they have cushioned seats and foot rests.’
      • ‘Artemis sat on top of the back of a chair, his bare feet resting on the seat.’
      • ‘I love it because bartenders in airports ask you for ID even if you look 106 and the toilets seats dispense nifty plastic covers with the wave of your hand.’
      • ‘The upright wooden chairs have raffia seats - on every table a sprig of red carnations.’
      • ‘The package Campbell had brought the night before rested unassumingly on the seat of my chair.’
      • ‘Conner disappeared down the hallway, and I took a seat on a couch.’
      • ‘Another oven is brought out - a stool with the seat cut out - so the cake tin can sit over the hole.’
      • ‘I got up from my comfy seat on the couch and answered it, just so it would stop ringing.’
      • ‘Ryan laughed from his comfy seat on the olive green armchair.’
      • ‘The seat of this wood-slat stool lifts off to reveal a handy storage container.’
      • ‘He sat up straight, gripped the seat of the stool and, for the first time in his life, shivered.’
      • ‘Royce looked around the small living room from her seat on the couch, not looking at all comfortable.’
      • ‘Tack pairs of ribbons on either side of the cover where the seat joins the back.’
      • ‘Facing a bench or chair, place the right foot on the bench or the seat of the chair.’
      • ‘I headed into the bathroom and was greeted by a chilling site: the seat was up!’
      • ‘I raised the armrest between two seats and covered our laps with the light blanket.’
      • ‘He sat, not on the seat of the bench, but on the back, his feet resting on the seat.’
    2. 1.2 A sitting place for a passenger in a vehicle or for a member of an audience.
      ‘we have a fairly small theater with about 1,300 seats’
      • ‘She settled against the cushioned leather seat and listened to the air controlled calm in the cabin.’
      • ‘Only back row seats are left, leaving just 80 tickets available per match.’
      • ‘During the return flight to Philadelphia we settled into plush leather seats.’
      • ‘Also new are the rear reclining seats, which recline up to 10 degrees.’
      • ‘I had arrived early enough to get an aisle seat in an exit row.’
      • ‘On the plane, I sat in my window seat, and another passenger has the aisle seat.’
      • ‘The large rear door provides great access to comfy seats with unbelievable legroom.’
      • ‘Before I know it he's sitting in the driver's seat next to me and starting the car.’
      • ‘The marginal cost of filling an empty seat on a plane that's going anyway is almost nothing.’
      • ‘Some audience members took their seats more than 30 minutes ago.’
      • ‘Jennifer climbed into the driver's seat of the car and ignited the engine.’
      • ‘All the while, audience members sit in their seats, wondering how these illusions are possible.’
      • ‘There are still a few vacant seats on the bus to Knock on Sunday, September 26.’
      • ‘He has removed reclining seats, so now passengers have to endure the whole flight sitting up straight.’
      • ‘The airline will fly two daily round-trip flights on 50 - seat regional jets.’
      • ‘In that case the seating available for passengers comprised three single seats and a bench seat 7 ft 4 ins in length.’
      • ‘I smiled and got in the empty front passenger seat of the black Escalade.’
      • ‘Finding the rear seats occupied by white men, she sat in the front section of the car.’
      • ‘The pilot's seat had been removed and placed in the sand and it made the perfect picture.’
      • ‘The gear is fused into a series of thick, metallic protective boxes situated between the vehicle's passenger and driver seats.’
  • 2A person's buttocks.

    • ‘They tossed beach balls to one another between the decks and nibbled on cucumber sandwiches as they shook sand from the towels covering their seats.’
    buttocks, behind, backside, rear, rear end, rump, haunches, hindquarters, cheeks
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    1. 2.1 The part of a garment that covers the buttocks.
      • ‘Is there an " X " on the seat of your pants?’
      • ‘The girl sighed at the dark stain that covered the seat of her pants.’
      • ‘As she was doing this, the instructor worked her tail through a hole in the seat of the garment.’
      • ‘The lengthwise stability reduces bagginess in the garment knees and seat.’
      • ‘And for extra room in the seat, try jeans with a low waist, low pockets and a bit of a flare around the ankle.’
    2. 2.2 A manner of sitting on a horse.
      ‘he's got the worst seat on a horse of anyone I've ever seen’
      • ‘If your seat is quiet, the horse is more likely to relax and slow his pace.’
      • ‘The rider who can set a steady rhythm with her seat can help the green horse through these awkward stages.’
      • ‘At the same time she will correct your position on the horse, your seat, your hand and legs.’
      • ‘Waging war with such tools required more than courage, common sense, and a firm seat on a horse.’
      • ‘Put one hand on the small of your back, or lift both of your knees to feel how to align your seat and pelvic bones properly in the sitting trot.’
  • 3A place in an elected legislative or other body.

    ‘he lost his seat in the 1998 election’
    • ‘Upper house elections are held every three years, with roughly half the seats up for re-election.’
    • ‘An electoral system includes procedures for translating individual votes into seats in the legislature.’
    • ‘Of all state legislative seats nationwide, Republicans had won or were leading in 3,647, Democrats in 3,630.’
    • ‘The additional directly elected seats are also expected to attract more democrats to join the race.’
    • ‘He also unsuccessfully sought Liberal Party preselection in 1990 to contest a seat in the Australian Parliament.’
    • ‘Labour will lose the Maori seats in this election.’
    • ‘Of the country's 7,424 state legislative seats, 22 percent are held by women.’
    • ‘Other Greens will compete for other statewide offices and for state legislative seats.’
    • ‘In all, there were 153 congressional and state legislative seats in play in California last November.’
    • ‘A vacant senate seat is usually filled by appointment by the state's governor.’
    • ‘At present, only one-third of the 60 legislative seats are directly elected.’
    • ‘The redrawn constitution of 1975 established a single legislative body with three hundred seats.’
    • ‘He left the MAC to pursue a successful bid for a seat in the legislature.’
    • ‘The rest of the seats, about half, would go to independents - but the parties would have a role in nominating these independents.’
    • ‘Only half of the 60 seats in the Legislative Council, the lawmaking body, are elected directly.’
    • ‘Labour took five seats with the rest being held by independents.’
    • ‘There would be no basis on which anybody could ask me to vacate my seat in Parliament.’
    • ‘Also, the proportional representation system used in the Assembly elections means that votes do not translate directly into seats.’
    • ‘In 1867, the Maori won the right to a certain number of reserved seats in Parliament.’
    • ‘Against the tide of history the presidential party had gained congressional seats at the mid-term elections.’
    residence, ancestral home, mansion, stately home, abode
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  • 4A principal site or location.

    ‘Washington, the seat of the federal government’
    • ‘The question of the site of the Federal capital and seat of the Federal government and so on was of little significance.’
    • ‘Strasbourg is a central seat of administration for them, that's right, just as it is for the European Commission.’
    • ‘These first forts at Madras, Bombay and Calcutta were the principal seats from where the Company oversaw its affairs.’
    • ‘While the seat of power still rests in the city zone, there are signs that the game is becoming very popular in many provincial schools.’
    • ‘The beck breaks to the surface at the site of the former seat of the city's textile industry.’
    • ‘He regarded it as the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed.’
    • ‘It was once a garrison town, a market centre and an important seat of learning.’
    • ‘Under Charlemagne and his heirs, the royal court's principal seats were Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) and Paris.’
    headquarters, location, site, whereabouts, place, base, centre, nerve centre, nucleus, centre of activity, centre of operations, hub, focus, focal point, heart
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    1. 4.1British
      short for country seat
      • ‘Kilkenny castle was built in the 12th century and was the principal seat of the Butlers until 1935.’
      • ‘Her brother and mother have sent her to the Castlewood seat in the country; to be away from the attentions of the Prince.’
    2. 4.2
      short for county seat
  • 5A part of a machine that supports or guides another part.


[with object]
  • 1Arrange for (someone) to sit somewhere.

    ‘he seated her next to her husband’
    • ‘They seated the audience on a hillside and the action of the play took place in a grassy circle.’
    • ‘A very friendly waiter welcomed us and quickly seated us at a small table outside.’
    • ‘I arrived and told the person who seats people, whom I was looking for.’
    • ‘It looked as lavish as they usually do and seated you as uncomfortably as they usually do.’
    • ‘He seated me at a table for two in the window, and I waited.’
    • ‘Apparently based upon the passenger load, this dining car steward was able to implement a rather ingenious plan for seating his passengers.’
    • ‘One of McRae's other decisions is to seat the audience on both sides of the long, narrow stage, one section facing the other.’
    • ‘Where else would he seat his guests for his famous five-course suppers?’
    • ‘The décor is strange, yes, as is the fact that we're offered a glass of wine by the waiter who seats us.’
    • ‘Canada and Australia have also contacted Maine officials to learn more about the state's approach to seating tribal delegates.’
    • ‘All the time spent getting the plane ready, seating the passengers and then helping people off doesn't count.’
    • ‘A waitress was serving the two people their main meals - she said she'd seat us in a minute.’
    • ‘Why would you take two hours to begin seating passengers, and then rush them?’
    • ‘He seats his guests in the living room, while the meeting gets reanimated.’
    • ‘It's one of those places where they seat you with other people and the chef cooks in front of everybody.’
    • ‘In a post-feminist world, he adds, boys may want to relearn courtesies such as holding open doors and seating a girl at dinner.’
    • ‘We were greeted by a cheerful young waitress who seated us by the window.’
    • ‘If you are a guest for dinner, they would seat you facing the door, and the host would sit with their back to the door.’
    • ‘The engine has been placed below the floor, thus reducing sound within the boat and making use of this space for seating passengers, he says.’
    • ‘I note a report showing that seating students in rows works best for learning.’
    position, put, place, stand, station
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    1. 1.1seat oneself" or "be seated Sit down.
      ‘she invited them to be seated’
      • ‘Jurors and spectators fared more poorly, all being seated on rough wooden benches.’
      • ‘She breathed inspiration into all seated in front of her.’
      • ‘She is seated on a sofa in the living room and watches him, smiling.’
      • ‘Sighing, she seated herself in her usual position in the Geography class and prepared herself for a long day.’
      • ‘The audience were seated in rows of benches surrounding the ring.’
      • ‘Dinner began after we said Grace and we were all seated comfortably around the table.’
      • ‘Guests are scolded for seating themselves in a restaurant with no host at the door, and no sign indicating another policy.’
      • ‘Inside of the house, there were a group of people already seated in the spacious living room.’
      • ‘I was seated on the floor, while Nick was laying on the bed.’
      • ‘Start by seating yourself in a comfortable position in a quiet area.’
      • ‘They dive into the meal before she's even comfortably seated at the table.’
      • ‘There were two people seated on a bench, staring at the wall.’
      • ‘They were seated on seven thrones on top of a dais with seven steps.’
      • ‘But when he approached his first seated passenger, he found himself frozen.’
      • ‘Mr. Thomas was already seated at the table, with Mr. Marcel beside him.’
      • ‘"Okay, " I said, once they were all seated on the couches in our living room.’
      • ‘Upon seating himself, he reached into his school bag and drew out a medal.’
      • ‘The best halls were rectangular, with a platform at one end and the audience seated in rows facing it.’
      • ‘Once seated in the armchairs around a blazing fire, they ordered tea and waited silently.’
      • ‘Rising slightly from his awkward position, he seated himself wearily on the bed, then pulled her down next to him.’
      take a seat, seat oneself, settle down, be seated, take a chair
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    2. 1.2 (of a place such as a theater or restaurant) have seats for (a specified number of people)
      ‘a large tent that seats 100 to 150 people’
      • ‘At each table are four small benches, each large enough to seat two people.’
      • ‘(By the way, the theatre seats three hundred and fifteen or six hundred and thirty over two nights).’
      • ‘Business needs are well-catered for with seven meeting rooms and four theatres seating a maximum of 1340 people.’
      • ‘There were ample enough seats, considering that the table could seat thirty-six people.’
      • ‘It seated three people in a row behind the engine, with the front two who had to wear crash helmets while the last one did not.’
      • ‘We were given a table in the upstairs section that seated us all.’
      • ‘The desks were all labdesks able to seat two people each with labstools to sit on.’
      • ‘The tables are mainly placed in alcoves and are large enough to seat large people with large appetites!’
      • ‘It looked as if it would seat two people, both at the front of the craft.’
      • ‘All that could be seen were their long, grayish necks and broad backs that could seat ten people.’
      • ‘Scott walked in the dinning room and seated himself at a table that could seat two people.’
      • ‘The table was big enough to seat ten people, five on each side.’
      • ‘The arena seated about 15,000 and was about a third full, according to James Perry.’
      • ‘Not only can it seat four passengers and carry all the shopping you could want, there is room for two people standing and a quarter of a tonne of coal.’
      • ‘The X-TRAIL can seat five persons and will offer a four-wheel option.’
      • ‘There is space for a table that could seat ten people and room for free-standing storage units.’
      • ‘A stadium seating 22,000 people is not necessary.’
      • ‘There are 19 tables, six of which seat six people; the rest of the tables are smaller, for two or three people.’
      • ‘But estate cars usually seat just five, and this good-looking car seats seven.’
      • ‘Normally configured, there are two forward-facing bench seats that will seat six people.’
      have room for, contain, take, sit, hold, accommodate
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    3. 1.3 Fit in position.
      ‘upper boulders were simply seated in the interstices below’
      • ‘It would be unwise to assume that this test proves that you can get better pistol accuracy by simply seating the bullet out further.’
      • ‘She arrived at her desk and found that her laptop was not fully seated in the docking station.’
      • ‘When installed properly, your Toyota hubcaps should be evenly seated around the edge of the wheel.’
      • ‘She flipped the second safety off before seating it in the holster and stood up.’


  • take one's seat

    • Sit down, typically in a seat assigned to one.

      • ‘She was elected to the Dail in 1923 but did not take her seat.’
      • ‘Not until 1886 was Bradlaugh, an avowed atheist, allowed to take his seat in Parliament.’
      • ‘Britain's long-awaited e-envoy will finally take his seat in Downing Street on Tuesday afternoon and start work immediately on wiring up Britain for the future, The Register can confirm.’
      • ‘Controversy raged when Parliament refused to let him take his seat, even though he was elected Member of Parliament for Middlesex on four consecutive occasions.’
      • ‘When Mr Chamberlain entered the Chamber at noon and took his seat on the Treasury bench he was greeted with an enthusiastic cheering from all sides.’
      • ‘Perhaps if elected she plans to do a Gerry Adams and not take her seat in Parliament on principle.’
      • ‘National Assembly Speaker Park Kwan Yong was unable to take his seat to call the assembly into session and hold a floor vote because some 40 Uri Party lawmakers held him back.’
      • ‘The London newspaper which made the boob quickly acknowledged its error, and Mr Singh took his seat in Parliament.’
      • ‘Election of replacement MLCs occurs at a Joint Sitting, but the MLC cannot take their seat for two days.’
      • ‘She will take her seat in the assembly from May 1.’
  • by the seat of one's pants

    • informal By instinct rather than logic or knowledge.

      • ‘It sounds like the orchestra is playing by the seat of their pants.’
      • ‘The rest of the trip will be conducted by the seat of our pants.’
      • ‘From now on we will not be a disorganized rabble fighting by the seat of our pants.’
      • ‘The steering is utterly lifeless, which means you have to steer by sight rather than by the seat of your pants.’
      • ‘I don't like playing music unless it's by the seat of your pants.’
      • ‘Once aviation became routine, the landing strips were refined and smoothed, but those first fliers had to land by the seat of their pants.’
      • ‘Often you find yourself operating by the seat of your pants, with no real idea of what you are doing or where the business is going.’
      • ‘I haven't heard playing of this intensity since Pablo Casals conducted Mozart where his orchestra, too, played by the seat of their pants.’
      • ‘But wars never proceed according to plan; they are always fought by the seat of one's pants, through constant improvisation.’
      • ‘I, on the other hand, play by the seat of my pants, improvising from the chords and syncopating most every rhythm with a lazy roadhouse beat.’


Middle English (as a noun): from Old Norse sæti, from the Germanic base of sit. The verb dates from the late 16th century.