a. Something, such as a chair or bench, that may be sat on: There are comfortable seats in the waiting room.
b. The part on which one rests in sitting: the seat of a chair; a bicycle seat.
a. A place in which one may sit: found a seat on the floor.
b. The right to occupy such a place or a ticket indicating this right: got seats for the concert.
a. The buttocks.
b. The part of a garment that covers the buttocks.
a. A part serving as the base of something else.
b. The surface or part on which another part sits or rests.
a. The place where something is located or based: The heart is the seat of the emotions.
b. A center of authority; a capital: the county seat.
6. A place of abode or residence, especially a large house that is part of an estate: the squire's country seat.
7. Membership in an organization, such as a legislative body or stock exchange, that is obtained by appointment, election, or purchase.
8. The manner of sitting on a horse: a rider with a good seat.
v. seat·ed, seat·ing, seats
a. To place in or on a seat.
b. To cause or assist to sit down: The ushers will seat the members of the bride's family.
2. To provide with a particular seat: The usher seated me in the back row.
3. To have or provide seats for: We can seat 300 in the auditorium.
4. To install in a position of authority or eminence.
5. To fix firmly in place: seat an ammunition clip in an automatic rifle.
To rest on or fit into another part: The O-rings had not seated correctly in their grooves.
by the seat of (one's) pants Informal
1. In a manner based on intuition and experience rather than method: He ran the business by the seat of his pants.
2. Without the use of instruments: an inexperienced pilot who had to fly the aircraft by the seat of her pants.
[Middle English sete, probably from Old Norse sæti; see sed- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.