AskDefine | Define sitting

Dictionary Definition



1 be seated [syn: sit down] [ant: stand, lie]
2 sit around, often unused; "The object sat in the corner"
3 take a seat [syn: sit down] [ant: arise]
4 be in session; "When does the court of law sit?"
5 assume a posture as for artistic purposes; "We don't know the woman who posed for Leonardo so often" [syn: model, pose, posture]
6 sit and travel on the back of animal, usually while controlling its motions; "She never sat a horse!"; "Did you ever ride a camel?"; "The girl liked to drive the young mare" [syn: ride]
7 work or act as a baby-sitter; "I cannot baby-sit tonight; I have too much homework to do" [syn: baby-sit]
8 show to a seat; assign a seat for; "The host seated me next to Mrs. Smith" [syn: seat, sit down] [also: sitting, sat]sitting adj
1 (of persons) having the torso erect and legs bent with the body supported on the buttocks; "the seated Madonna"; "the audience remained seated" [syn: seated] [ant: standing]
2 not moving and therefore easy to attack; "a sitting target"


1 (photography) the act of assuming a certain position (as for a photograph or portrait); "he wanted his portrait painted but couldn't spare time for the sitting" [syn: posing]
2 the act of assuming or maintaining a seated position; "he read the mystery at one sitting"
3 a meeting of spiritualists; "the seance was held in the medium's parlor" [syn: seance, session]
4 a session as of a legislature or courtsitting See sit

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. a period during which one is seated for a specific purpose
    Due to the sheer volume of guests, we had to have two sittings for the meal.
    The Queen had three sittings for her portrait.
  2. a legislative session
  3. the act (of a bird) of incubating eggs; the clutch of eggs under a brooding bird


a period during which one is seated for a specific purpose
a legislative session
the act (of a bird) of incubating eggs; the clutch of eggs under a brooding bird


  1. present participle of sit


  1. executed from a sitting position
  2. occupying a specific official or legal position; incumbent

Extensive Definition

Sitting is a rest position supported by the buttocks or thighs where the torso is more or less upright. There are several ways for humans to sit.

Types of sittings

Sitting on the floor

The most common way of sitting on the floor involves bending the knees. One can also sit with the legs unbent, using something solid as support for the back or leaning on one's arms.
Sitting with bent legs can be done along two major lines; one with the legs mostly parallel and one where they cross each other. The parallel position is reminiscent of, and is sometimes used for, kneeling. The latter is a common pose for meditating.

Parallel legs

  • is a Japanese word which describes the traditional formal way of sitting in that country. Sitting in seiza is kneeling on one's own lower legs, with the feet under the buttocks, toes pointed backwards. To sit in seiza for any length of time requires careful positioning of the heels under the sit bones of the hip, to minimize circulation loss. A related position is , which differs in the tops of the feet being raised off the ground.


  • The position known as Indian or tailor style involves both feet bent inwards and under the body, crossing each other at the ankle. In Japan it is known as agura (胡座).
  • The lotus position involves resting each foot on the opposite thigh so that the soles face upwards. If only one foot is brought into this position, it is called a half-lotus position. This position is common in yoga and meditation.
  • The Burmese position, named so because of its use in Buddhist sculptures in Burma, places both feet in front of the pelvis with knees bent and touching the floor to the sides. The heels are pointing toward pelvis or upward, and toes are pointed so that the tops of the feet lay on the ground. This looks similar to the cross legged position, but the feet are not placed underneath the thigh of the next leg, therefore the legs do not cross. Instead, one foot is placed in front of the other. This is a popular sitting alternative for those less comfortable with the use of the Lotus or half Lotus positions in meditation and yoga.
Zazen, the Japanese word for "sitting meditation", is a form of meditation rather than a particular posture. During zazen, practitioners may assume a lotus, half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza position.

Sitting on a raised seat

Most raised surfaces at the appropriate height can be used as seats for humans, whether they are made for the purpose, such as chairs, stools and benches, or not. While the buttocks are nearly always rested on the raised surface, there are many differences in how one can hold one's legs and back.
There are two major styles of sitting on a raised surface. The first has one or two of the legs in front of the sitting person; in the second, sitting astride something, the legs incline outwards on either side of the body.
The feet can rest on the floor, or on a footrest, which can keep them vertical, horizontal, or at an angle in between. They can also dangle if the seat is sufficiently high. Legs can be kept right to the front of the body, spread apart, or one crossed over the other.
The upper body can be held upright, recline to either side or backwards, or one can lean forward.


Alice, the protagonist of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is representative of children who were once admonished to "sit up straight."
Recent studies indicate, however, that sitting upright for hours causes increased stress on the back, and may be a cause of chronic back problems. Researchers have found that a "135-degree back-thigh sitting posture" was the best posture to avoid back problems—that is, leaning back in the chair 45 degrees. Researchers found that the 90-degree position contributed most to strain on the spine, while the 135-degree position was the most relaxed.
Optimal posture while sitting is now referred to as Neutral spine.


Variations of the above, such as an aside variant with the legs resting above and beside the armrests (example), or the anti-authoritarian posture of reversing the chair and one's legs in front of the back of the chair.

Kneeling chairs

Kneeling chairs (often just referred to as "ergonomic chairs"), encourage better posture than conventional chairs and they look quite different. To sit in a kneeling chair one rests one's buttocks on the upper sloping pad and rests the front of the lower legs atop the lower pad, i.e., the human position as both sitting and kneeling at the same time.
Kneeling chairs should not, in fact, be called "ergonomic" chairs because they go against what ergonomists recommend as a sitting position which reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Since the body is one long kinetic chain, prolonged sitting can lead to musculoskeletal injuries in any joint. "Neutral" sitting postures—postures that reduce the demands on the body—involve sitting fully back in a chair's seat pan and using the back rest for support. It is impossible for humans to sit unsupported for long periods of time and maintain neutral postures, nor is it advisable to try. Avoid using kneeling chairs as well as exercise balls for prolonged sitting.

In mythology

In various mythologies and folk magic, sitting is a magical act that connects the person who sits, with other persons, states or places where he/she sat.
sitting in German: Sitzen
sitting in French: Position assise
sitting in Hebrew: ישיבה (תנוחה)
sitting in Dutch: Zitten
sitting in Japanese: 座法
sitting in Swedish: Sittande
sitting in Thai: การนั่ง

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

assemblee, assembly, assignation, at home, audience, ball, bargaining, bargaining session, bigness, brawl, brooding, caucus, colloquium, commission, committee, conclave, concourse, confab, confabulation, conference, confrontation, congregation, congress, consultation, conventicle, convention, convocation, council, council fire, council of war, covering, dance, date, diet, discussion, eisteddfod, exchange of views, eyeball-to-eyeball encounter, festivity, fete, forgathering, forum, gathering, gestation, get-together, gravidity, gravidness, greatness, heaviness, high-level talk, housewarming, huddle, in a huddle, in conclave, in conference, in consultation, in council, in session, incubation, interchange of views, interview, levee, mediumism, meet, meeting, necromancy, negotiations, news conference, palaver, panel, parley, party, plenum, pourparler, powwow, pregnancy, press conference, prom, quorum, rally, reception, rendezvous, seance, session, shindig, sit-in, soiree, spirit, spiritism, spiritualism, summit, summit conference, summitry, symposium, synod, the family way, turnout
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1