1. something designed to support a person in a sitting position, as a chair, bench, or pew; a place on or in which one sits.
  2. the part of a chair, sofa, or the like, on which one sits.
  3. the part of the body on which one sits; the buttocks.
  4. the part of the garment covering it: the seat of one’s pants.
  5. a manner of or posture used in sitting, as on a horse.
  6. something on which the base of an object rests.
  7. the base itself.
  8. a place in which something belongs, occurs, or is established; site; location.
  9. a place in which administrative power or the like is centered: the seat of the government.
  10. a part of the body considered as the place in which an emotion or function is centered: The heart is the seat of passion.
  11. the office or authority of a king, bishop, etc.: the episcopal seat.
  12. a space in which a spectator or patron may sit; accommodation for sitting, as in a theater or stadium.
  13. right of admittance to such a space, especially as indicated by a ticket.
  14. a right to sit as a member in a legislative or similar body: to hold a seat in the senate.
  15. a right to the privileges of membership in a stock exchange or the like.

verb (used with object)

  1. to place on a seat or seats; cause to sit down.
  2. to usher to a seat or find a seat for: to be seated in the front row.
  3. to have seats for; accommodate with seats: a theater that seats 1200 people.
  4. to put a seat on or into (a chair, garment, etc.).
  5. to install in a position or office of authority, in a legislative body, etc.
  6. to fit (a valve) with a seat.
  7. to attach to or place firmly in or on something as a base: Seat the telescope on the tripod.

verb (used without object)

  1. (of a cap, valve, etc.) to be closed or in proper position: Be sure that the cap of the dipstick seats.


  1. by the seat of one’s pants, using experience, instinct, or guesswork.


  1. a piece of furniture designed for sitting on, such as a chair or sofa
  2. the part of a chair, bench, etc, on which one sits
  3. a place to sit, esp one that requires a ticketI have two seats for the film tonight
  4. the buttocks
  5. the part of a garment covering the buttocks
  6. the part or area serving as the base of an object
  7. the part or surface on which the base of an object rests
  8. the place or centre in which something is locateda seat of government
  9. a place of abode, esp a country mansion that is or was originally the chief residence of a family
  10. a membership or the right to membership in a legislative or similar body
  11. mainly British a parliamentary constituency
  12. membership in a stock exchange
  13. the manner in which a rider sits on a horse
  14. by the seat of one’s pants by instinct rather than knowledge or experience
  15. on seat Western African informal (of officials) in the office rather than on tour or on leavethe agricultural advisor will be on seat tomorrow


  1. (tr) to bring to or place on a seat; cause to sit down
  2. (tr) to provide with seats
  3. (tr; often passive) to place or centrethe ministry is seated in the capital
  4. (tr) to set firmly in place
  5. (tr) to fix or install in a position of power
  6. (tr) to put a seat on or in (an item of furniture, garment, etc)
  7. (intr) (of garments) to sag in the area covering the buttocksyour thin skirt has seated badly

n.1“thing to sit on; act of sitting,” c.1200, from Old Norse sæti “seat, position,” from Proto-Germanic *sæt- (cf. Old High German saze, Middle Dutch gesaete “seat,” Old High German gisazi, German Gesäß “buttocks”), from PIE root *sed- “to sit” (see sit). Meaning “posterior of the body” (the sitting part) is from c.1600; sense of “part of a garment which covers the buttocks” is from 1835. Seat belt is from 1915, originally in airplanes. n.2“residence, abode, established place,” late 13c., extended use of seat (n.1), influenced by Old French siege “seat, established place,” and Latin sedes “seat.” Meaning “city in which a government sits” is attested from c.1400. Sense of “right of taking a place in a parliament or other legislative body” is attested from 1774. Old English had sæt “place where one sits in ambush,” which also meant “residents, inhabitants,” and is the source of the -set in Dorset and Somerset. v.1570s, “to be in a certain position” (implied in seated), from seat (n.2). Of diseases, in the body, from 1610s (hence deep-seated). Meaning “to cause to sit in a seat” is from 1610s, from seat (n.1). Related: Seated; seating. In addition to the idiom beginning with seat

  • seat of the pants, by the
  • also see:

  • backseat driver
  • catbird seat
  • hot seat
  • in the driver’s seat
  • ringside seat
  • take a back seat
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