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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English squatten, from Old French esquatir, escatir (compress, press down, lay flat, crush), from es- (ex-) + quatir (press down, flatten), from Vulgar Latin *coactire (press together, force), from Latin coactus, perfect passive participle of cōgō (force together, compress).

The sense “nothing” may be the source or a derivation of diddly-squat.



squat (comparative squatter, superlative squattest)

  1. Relatively short or low, and thick or broad.
    • 1681, Nehemiah Grew, “Of Creeping Insects [part I, section VII, chapter III]”, in Musæum Regalis Societatis. Or a Catalogue & Description of the Natural and Artificial Rarities Belonging to the Royal Society and Preserved at Gresham College. [...] Whereunto is Subjoyned the Comparative Anatomy of Stomachs and Guts, London: Printed by W. Rawlins, for the Author, OCLC 228732352, page 176:
      The SQUILL-INSECT. [] So called from ſome ſimilitude to the Squill-fiſh: chiefly, in having a long Body cover'd with a Cruſt compoſed of ſeveral Rings or Plates. The Head is broad and ſquat. He hath a pair of notable ſharp Fangs before, both hooked inward like a Bulls horns.
    • 1855, Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”, in Men and Women, London: Chapman & Hall, OCLC 1561924, stanza XXXI:
      What in the midst lay but the Tower itself? / The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart, / Built of round stone, without a counterpart / In the whole world. []
    • 1927 March, H[oward] P[hillips] Lovecraft, “The Colour Out of Space”, in Amazing Stories, New York, N.Y.: Experimenter Publishing, published September 1927, ISSN 0002-6891:
      On the gentle slopes there are farms, ancient and rocky, with squat, moss-coated cottages brooding eternally over old New England secrets in the lee of great ledges []
  2. Sitting on the hams or heels; sitting close to the ground; cowering; crouching.


A weightlifter performing a squat

squat (plural squats)

  1. A position assumed by bending deeply at the knees while resting on one's feet.
    • 2006, Yael Calhoun; Matthew R. Calhoun, Create a Yoga Practice for Kids: Fun, Flexibility, and Focus, Santa Fe, N.M.: Sunstone Press, →ISBN, page 72:
      Sit in a squat, with your feet a comfortable distance apart.
  2. (exercise) Any of various modes of callisthenic exercises performed by moving the body and bending at least one knee.
    1. (weightlifting) A specific exercise in weightlifting performed by bending deeply at the knees and then rising (back squat), especially with a barbell resting across the shoulders (barbell back squat).
      • 2001, Robert Wolff, Robert Wolff's Book of Great Workouts: Everything You Need to Know to Vary Your Routine and Keep You Motivated, Lincolnwood and Chicago, Ill.: Contemporary Books, →ISBN, pages 58–59:
        The king of all quad exercises, and arguably the best single-weight resistance exercise, is the squat.
  3. A building occupied without permission, as practiced by a squatter.
    • 1996 July 8, Chris Smith, “Live free or die”, in New York, New York, N.Y.: New York Magazine Co., ISSN 0028-7369, page 36:
      "Keeping your friends warm and dry, that doesn't happen here. If you want to spend a night in a squat, it's all political to get in." Lately, as buildings have filled and become stringent about new admissions, much of the squatters' "My house is your house" rhetoric has become hollow.
  4. A place of concealment in which a hare spends time when inactive, especially during the day; a form.
  5. A toilet used by squatting as opposed to sitting; a squat toilet.
  6. (slang, Canada, US) Clipping of diddly-squat; something of no value.
    Synonyms: nothing; see also Thesaurus:nothing
    I know squat about nuclear physics.
    • 2003 May 6, “Dear Dotti: America's Most Outspoken Advice Columnist”, in Weekly World News, volume 24, number 34, New York, N.Y.: American Media, ISSN 0199-574X, page 23:
      We didn't ask for rent, but we assumed they'd help around the house. But they don't do squat.
  7. (obsolete) A sudden or crushing fall.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Herbert to this entry?)
  8. (mining) A small vein of ore.
  9. A mineral consisting of tin ore and spar.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Woodward to this entry?)
Derived terms[edit]


A young boy squatting in a park

squat (third-person singular simple present squats, present participle squatting, simple past and past participle squatted)

  1. To bend deeply at the knees while resting on one's feet.
  2. (exercise) To perform one or more callisthenic exercises by moving the body and bending at least one knee.
    1. (weightlifting) To exercise by bending deeply at the knees and then rising, while bearing weight across the shoulders or upper back.
      • 1994, Kurt Brungardt; Mike Brungardt; Brett Brungardt, The Complete Book of Butt and Legs, New York, N.Y.: Villard Books, →ISBN, page 161:
        For those who are having, or have had, trouble squatting we suggest learning how to squat by performing the front squat [] The front squat allows you almost no alternative but to perform the exercise correctly.
  3. To occupy or reside in a place without the permission of the owner.
  4. To sit close to the ground; to cower; to stoop, or lie close, to escape observation, as a partridge or rabbit.
  5. (dated) To bruise or flatten by a fall; to squash.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

An 1877 illustration of an angelshark or monkfish (Template:taxllink), the type species for squats or angel sharks

From Latin squatina.


squat (plural squats)

  1. The angel shark (genus Squatina).

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for squat in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr


From English squat.



squat m (plural squats)

  1. Squat (building occupied without permission, as practiced by a squatter).
    taper un squat
    to squat an apartment; do stupid and useless things
  2. Uninvited presence in a building or place (the result of which can be welcomed).
    on va taper un squat chez Jérôme ?
    let's crash at Jérôme's place?
  3. Squat effect
    Parmi les inconvénients du squat, la modification de l'écoulement des filets d'eau, perturbé par la proximité du fond, provoque des difficultés de gouverne, des vibrations, et une diminution de la vitesse.
    (please add an English translation of this usage example)
  4. (weightlifting) Squat
    C'est Vlad Alhazov qui détient le record du monde au squat, avec 1250lbs (566,99 kilo).
    (please add an English translation of this usage example)

Related terms[edit]




  • IPA(key): /ˈskwat/, [ˈskwat̪]
  • IPA(key): /esˈkwat/, [esˈkwat̪]


squat m (plural squats)

  1. squat (exercise)