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See also: SEAT



From Middle English sete, from Old English sǣte and Old Norse sæti (seat), both from Proto-Germanic *sētiją (seat); compare Old English set (seat). Compare also Old High German gisazi (German Gesäß), Middle Dutch gesaete. Sense of "residence, abode, established place" likely derived from cognate Old English sǣte (house), related to Old High German sāza (sedan, seat, domicile).


  • IPA(key): /siːt/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːt


seat (plural seats)

An automobile seat
  1. Something to be sat upon.
    1. A place in which to sit.
      There are two hundred seats in this classroom.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
        The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; [] . Our table in the dining-room became again the abode of scintillating wit and caustic repartee, Farrar bracing up to his old standard, and the demand for seats in the vicinity rose to an animated competition.
      • 2019 October, South Wales open access bid, page 15:
        ... and Grand Union proposes making a seat part of the price of a ticket, with 50% refunds for those travelling for longer than 30 minutes unable to obtain a seat.
    2. The horizontal portion of a chair or other furniture designed for sitting.
      He sat on the arm of the chair rather than the seat, which always annoyed his mother.
      the seat of a saddle
    3. A piece of furniture made for sitting; e.g. a chair, stool or bench; any improvised place for sitting.
      She pulled the seat from under the table to allow him to sit down.
    4. The part of an object or individual (usually the buttocks) directly involved in sitting.
      Instead of saying "sit down", she said "place your seat on this chair".
    5. The part of a piece of clothing (usually pants or trousers) covering the buttocks.
      The seat of these trousers is almost worn through.
    6. (engineering) A part or surface on which another part or surface rests.
      The seat of the valve had become corroded.
  2. A location or site.
    1. (figuratively) A membership in an organization, particularly a representative body.
      Our neighbor has a seat at the stock exchange and in congress.
    2. The location of a governing body.
      Washington D.C. is the seat of the U.S. government.
      • 2013 August 3, “The machine of a new soul”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
        But how the neurons are organised in these lobes and ganglia remains obscure. Yet this is the level of organisation that does the actual thinking—and is, presumably, the seat of consciousness.
    3. (certain Commonwealth countries) An electoral district, especially for a national legislature.
    4. A temporary residence, such as a country home or a hunting lodge.
      • 1806, William Cobbett, The Parliamentary History of England
        A man of fortune, who lives in London, may, in plays, operas, routs, assemblies, French cookery, French sauces, and French wines, spend as much yearly, as he could do, were he to live in the most hospitable manner at his seat in the country.
    5. The place occupied by anything, or where any person, thing or quality is situated or resides; a site.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Bible, Revelation ii. 13
        Where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is.
      • (Can we date this quote by Francis Bacon and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
        He that builds a fair house upon an ill seat committeth himself to prison.
      • 1911, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Goldsmith, Oliver”, in 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica:
        a seat of plenty, content, and tranquillity
      • 1927-29, M.K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, translated 1940 by Mahadev Desai, Part I, Chapter xvii:
        I stopped taking the sweets and condiments I had got from home. The mind having taken a different turn, the fondness for condiments wore away, and I now relished the boiled spinach which in Richmond tasted insipid, cooked without condiments. Many such experiments taught me that the real seat of taste was not the tongue but the mind.
  3. The starting point of a fire.
  4. Posture, or way of sitting, on horseback.
    • (Can we date this quote by George Eliot and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      She had so good a seat and hand she might be trusted with any mount.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


seat (third-person singular simple present seats, present participle seating, simple past and past participle seated)

  1. (transitive) To put an object into a place where it will rest; to fix; to set firm.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 6”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      From their foundations, loosening to and fro, / They plucked the seated hills.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
    Be sure to seat the gasket properly before attaching the cover.
  2. (transitive) To provide with places to sit.
    This classroom seats two hundred students.
    The waiter seated us and asked what we would like to drink.
    • (Can we date this quote by Arbuthnot and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The guests were no sooner seated but they entered into a warm debate.
    • (Can we date this quote by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He used to seat you on the piano and then, with vehement gestures and pirouettings, would argue the case. Not one word of the speech did you understand.
  3. (transitive) To request or direct one or more persons to sit.
    Please seat the audience after the anthem and then introduce the first speaker.
  4. (transitive, legislature) To recognize the standing of a person or persons by providing them with one or more seats which would allow them to participate fully in a meeting or session.
    Only half the delegates from the state were seated at the convention because the state held its primary too early.
    You have to be a member to be seated at the meeting. Guests are welcome to sit in the visitors section.
  5. (transitive) To assign the seats of.
    to seat a church
  6. (transitive) To cause to occupy a post, site, or situation; to station; to establish; to fix; to settle.
  7. (obsolete, intransitive) To rest; to lie down.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  8. To settle; to plant with inhabitants.
    to seat a country
    (Can we find and add a quotation of W. Stith to this entry?)
  9. To put a seat or bottom in.
    to seat a chair


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]



Alternative forms[edit]

  • (Rumantsch Grischun, Surmiran, Puter, Vallader) set
  • (Sursilvan) siat


From Latin septem, from Proto-Indo-European *septḿ̥.



  1. (Sutsilvan) seven