Definition of sitting in US English:



  • 1A continuous period of being seated, especially when engaged in a particular activity.

    ‘the whole roast was eaten at one sitting’
    • ‘He eats around 10 pounds at a sitting at least three times a week before a big match, increasing the volume each time.’
    • ‘Laser facials require eight sittings at intervals of two weeks.’
    • ‘At breakfast the general was ‘merry and affable’ but the sitting was soon interrupted by the arrival of urgent dispatches.’
    • ‘And sure, it is a lot to ask the average museum visitor to sit through eight films in one sitting.’
    • ‘Egged on by Coulson's legendary enthusiasm, Macdonald confesses to having once eaten six puddings in a single sitting.’
    • ‘The more calories you eat in a sitting, the more likely you are to store them as body fat.’
    • ‘I swore then and there to drink the entire bottle in a single sitting.’
    1. 1.1 A period of time spent as a model for an artist or photographer.
      • ‘By December or January the sittings had got very short.’
      • ‘How many sittings did Ian have for his portrait?’
      • ‘After the initial sittings for the portrait, the Marquise suddenly took ill and died, and Drouais was obliged to complete the portrait from memory.’
      • ‘I went for five sittings in total and on the first one she just tried to make me feel at home, making jokes all the time.’
      • ‘The portrait was completed in the artist's studio in Suffolk after five sittings in January.’
      • ‘The sitting is over quickly - little more than five minutes.’
      • ‘Blanch was his stand-in model between sittings with his portrait subjects, including the queen.’
      • ‘During the first few sittings, the artist must concentrate on the face and any other physical qualities, such as hands, that need special attention.’
      • ‘At the end of the sitting, they can take photographs of the subject.’
    2. 1.2 A scheduled period of time when a group of people are served a meal, especially in a restaurant.
      ‘there will be two sittings for Christmas lunch’
      • ‘The part-time firefighters served more than 100 children with food, in two sittings.’
      • ‘The Ritz serves 300 covers a day at four sittings.’
      • ‘There were no sittings; passengers came to one of the ship's restaurants when they felt like it, and if a table was available, they took it.’
      • ‘Corrianders Restaurant are able to cater for individual sittings or larger groups.’
      • ‘There were two sittings for dinner in the restaurant and shortly after boarding you were allocated your sitting and your table number which you kept with you throughout the cruise.’
    3. 1.3 A period of time during which a committee or legislature is engaged in its normal business.
      • ‘Today was the fourth time a serving US President has addressed a joint sitting of Parliament.’
      • ‘Chief Minister John Osborne announced double salaries in December at the last sitting of Parliament.’
      • ‘A lot of advanced democracies still have all-night sittings, which I think are crazy.’
      • ‘He did not have the full sitting of parliament as he told Australians he would, only his cabinet met.’
      • ‘There are just two more weeks of parliamentary sittings before the winter break, and the beginning of the period in which the Prime Minister says he'll go to the polls.’
      • ‘The past couple of weeks have seen the final fortnight of Parliament sittings for the year.’
      • ‘A special sitting of the German parliament at the beginning of October will debate the necessary resolution.’
      • ‘At the regular sitting of the parliamentary group on Tuesday, no final decision was taken about the fate of the disloyal MPs.’
      • ‘The decision to delay the new parliament's first sitting will only add to cynicism in the electorate and will be no encouragement to take part in the election.’
      • ‘I hope we will make early progress in the next sitting of Parliament.’
      • ‘He will be the key player in the meetings of the Conference of the Presidents, which meets monthly to set out the agenda for the sittings of the European Parliament.’
      • ‘He says he will introduce legislation during the winter sitting of Parliament.’
      • ‘The measures will be put into place at the next sitting of Parliament, tentatively scheduled for March.’
      • ‘A further rebuke took place during the first sitting of parliament.’
      • ‘Government officials said today's Parliament sitting may be very brief to accommodate the continuation of the crime talks.’
      • ‘Williams said the meeting had to be called before the next sitting of the executive committee on Tuesday.’
      • ‘Howard knew he would never get it passed in a full sitting of parliament.’
      • ‘Who says pre-budget Parliamentary sittings have to be dull?’
      • ‘With the last sitting of state parliament upon us, it is time to write to state MPs to save the rail line.’
      • ‘He became increasingly eccentric, bursting into song or verse during parliamentary sittings and falling asleep at public meetings.’
    4. 1.4British Law A period of time when a court of law holds sessions.
      • ‘The decision by the Court to continue circuit sittings was a significant one.’
      • ‘The defendant had been remanded in custody from a sitting of Wexford District Court the previous week.’
      • ‘He was remanded in custody at a special sitting of Cork District Court yesterday, to appear again this morning.’
      • ‘It certainly was a busy day in terms of court sittings locally last Wednesday.’
      • ‘The next available Divisional Court sittings in Brampton is May 31.’
      session, meeting, assembly, plenary
      View synonyms


  • 1In a seated position.

    • ‘Rothman was eventually brought to the ground by police but was put into a sitting position when he began hyperventilating.’
    • ‘He refuted the skeptics by proving that a man could still make concert-stage mayhem from a sitting position.’
    • ‘The 66-year-old had slipped into a sitting position with her legs straight out, leaving her waist deep in heavy mud.’
    • ‘At the moment a large proportion of motherhood seems to be spent worrying about the fact that Tommy still can't manage to get up into a sitting position on his own.’
    • ‘One of the jade Buddhas can be found in a sitting position at the moment of his enlightenment on the second floor of Wentang Hall.’
    • ‘Chair arms should be used only if they do not obstruct your sitting position and posture’
    • ‘She rose to a sitting position with difficulty and looked around.’
    • ‘Slowly slide your back down the wall until you are in a sitting position, as though seated on an imaginary chair.’
    • ‘I sighed and pushed myself up so I was in a regular sitting position.’
    • ‘He slowly slid down into a sitting position and let out a yawn.’
    • ‘She languidly draws herself up to a sitting position.’
    • ‘You may also feel light-headed or dizzy, especially when moving from a lying or sitting position to standing up.’
    • ‘The taxi driver sits in his vehicle and watches as the other driver pulls himself out from under his motorbike and raises himself to a sitting position.’
    • ‘I sink gracefully into a sitting position on my bed.’
    sedentary, seated
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of an animal or bird) not running or flying.
  • 2(of an elected representative) current; present.

    ‘the resignation of the sitting congressman’
    • ‘To unseat a sitting member is always a tough task.’
    • ‘He suggests that the minority of people who voted for this unattractive party are not constituents of the sitting Member of Parliament.’
    • ‘No sitting member of Congress has been elected President since John Kennedy in 1960.’
    • ‘In recent years, only a tiny percentage of sitting members of Congress have been defeated in primaries.’
    • ‘This is the first time a sitting president has attended the Brazilian Catholic bishops' national assembly.’
    • ‘Two hours after the historic ceremony, the current parliament's batch of sitting MPs cease to be members of parliament.’
    • ‘This study validated the widespread feeling of people about the sitting president.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, all of the presented candidates were sitting judges.’
    • ‘Analysts predict he has a tough fight ahead to retain the seat, as it is rare for a sitting member to return.’
    • ‘The leader is elected by the sitting members of the relevant party.’
    • ‘A number of the current sitting board members have had close associations with Mr Murdoch or his company.’
    • ‘As a Democrat living in a strong Labor seat my vote will not, baring a miracle, remove the sitting member.’
    • ‘Is it possible for a sitting member of Parliament to be objective and conduct the tasks at hand on behalf of the people?’
    • ‘Under the electoral laws, any sitting member can register a party without the need for party members.’
    • ‘We have one question, that came in actually from a sitting member of Congress.’
    • ‘No sitting congressman has ever previously been nominated to head the agency.’
    • ‘Not only will he have to deal with the sitting representative, there are others in his party gunning for the coveted seat and a place in the House.’
  • 3(of a hen or other bird) settled on eggs for the purpose of incubating them.

    • ‘Nests are hidden in vegetation, each lined with an ample layer of down to cover the eggs when the sitting bird is absent.’
    • ‘If the sitting bird's body does not completely cover the nest, heat may also be lost to the air outside the nest.’