sit down

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See also: sitdown and sit-down



sit down (third-person singular simple present sits down, present participle sitting down, simple past sat down or (dated, poetic) sate down, past participle sat down or (archaic, dialectal) sitten down)

  1. (intransitive) To assume a sitting position from a standing position.
    Sit down! We have work to do.
    • 1526, [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamẽt [] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], →OCLC, Matthew ix:[10], folio xj, recto:
      And lo / many publicans and ſynners / cam and ſatt downe alſo with Ieſus / and his diſciples.
    • 1560 September 25, Ihon Daus, transl., A Famouse Cronicle of Oure Time, Called Sleidanes Commentaries, Concerning the State of Religion and Common Wealth, [], London: [] Ihon Daye, for Abraham Veale, and Nicholas England, folio cccxij, verso:
      From thence he cometh forth again ⁊ ſitteth down vnder his cloth of eſtate.
    • 1579, Plutarke of Chæronea [i.e., Plutarch], “The Life of Marcus Antonius”, in Thomas North, transl., The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romaines, [], London: [] Richard Field, →OCLC, page 1001:
      When ſhe knew this galley a farre of, ſhe lift vp a ſigne in the poope of her ſhippe, and ſo Antonius comming to it, was pluckt vp where Cleopatra was, howbeit he ſaw her not at his firſt comming, nor ſhe him, but went and ſate down alone in the prowe of his ſhippe, and ſaid neuer a word, clapping his head betwene both his hands.
    • 1605, [William Bradshaw], A Proposition. Concerning Kneeling in the Very Act of Receiuing Howsoever. [], page 13:
      Therfore where it is ſuppoſed that Chriſt and his Apoſtles miniſtred & receiued ſitting but by occaſion, and not of purpoſe: becauſe they were ſitting before in eating the paſſeover. wher as if Chriſt had ſitten down of purpoſ to adminiſter the cõmunion, then all that is ſaid is graunted to be ſome purpoſe.
    • 1648, Galliazzo Gualdo Priorato, translated by Henry [Carey, 2nd] Earle of Monmouth, An History of the Late Warres and Other State Affaires of the Best Part of Christendom, Beginning with the King of Swethlands Entrance into Germany, and Continuing to the Yeare 1640, London: W. Wilson, and are to bee sold by Iohn Hardesty, Thomas Huntington, and Thomas Iackson, [], pages 340–341:
      [] he made Maracini advance with his men towards Oder, to hinder Orang hells further proceedings, or his joyning with Bannier, which if it had happened time enough, that Elector would have had ſomewhat elſe to doe, then to have ſitten down before a ſtrong Towne which had a prettie Army in the Field to aſſiſt it.
    • 1660, W[illiam] S[mith], An Holy Kiss of Peace, Sent from the Seed of Life, Greeting All the Lambs and Little Ones with a Tender Salutation. [], London: [] Robert Wilson, [], page 13:
      [] and then made to thy ſelf a Reſt, and haſt ſitten down at Eaſe, promiſing to thy ſelf Security in thy profeſſed Formality, where thy Vitals have been ſtopped; []
    • 1798 October 24, Jane Austen, “Letter VIII”, in Edward, Lord Brabourne, editor, Letters of Jane Austen, volume I, London: Richard Bentley & Son, [], published 1884, →OCLC, page 155:
      We sate down to dinner a little after five, and had some beefsteaks and a boiled fowl, but no oyster sauce.
    • 1819, Jedadiah Cleishbotham [pseudonym; Walter Scott], chapter VI, in Tales of My Landlord, Third Series. [], volume III (A Legend of Montrose), Edinburgh: [] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; Hurst, Robinson, and Co. [], →OCLC, page 274:
      So saying, she sate down at a little distance upon the bench on which Allan M‘Aulay was placed, and tuning her clairshach, a small harp, about thirty inches in height, she accompanied it with her voice.
    • 1944 July and August, W. G. Chapman, “The First of the Exeter Expresses”, in Railway Magazine, page 215:
      " [] my only chance of sitting down was for the hour we were at dinner. [] ."
  2. (transitive or reflexive) To cause to be seated or in a sitting posture; to furnish a seat to.
    Sit your ass down and shut up.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “ch. 6, Monk Samson”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, book II (The Ancient Monk):
      Coming home, therefore, I sat me down secretly under the Shrine of St. Edmund, fearing lest our Lord Abbot should seize and imprison me.
    • 1922, A. E. Housman, Astronomy, lines 3–4:
      Oh I will sit me down and weep / For bones in Africa.
    • 2016 October 3, Tad Friend, “Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny”, in The New Yorker[1]:
      Two YC partners sat Altman down last year “and told him, ‘Slow down, chill out!’
  3. (figurative) To meet formally at a conference table.
    • 2013 July 19, Timothy Garton Ash, “Where Dr Pangloss meets Machiavelli”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 18:
      Hidden behind thickets of acronyms and gorse bushes of detail, a new great game is under way across the globe. Some call it geoeconomics, but it's geopolitics too. The current power play consists of an extraordinary range of countries simultaneously sitting down to negotiate big free trade and investment agreements.
  4. To assume a low or sunken position.
    The ball scooted off the fairway and sat down in the thick rough.
    As we all climbed aboard, the little boat sat down low in the water.


Derived terms[edit]


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