Show Search Results Show Browse

A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sit, v. Also: sitt(e, site, syt(t, set(t, sete, seit. Pres. p. also sitton, (satand). P.t. sat(t)(e, sait, sayt, set(e, seit, sett. P.p. sitten, -(e)ne, -in, syttin, -yn, setten, -in, sutin, suttn, sate, sit(t, set(t, sete, yset. [ME and e.m.E. sitte(n (1154), sittenn (Orm), sytte(n (c1275), site(n (14th c.), sitt, syt, site, sete, seit (all Cursor M.), sit (1427). P.t. set (c1275), sett (Cursor M.); sat (c1200), sæt (Layamon), satt(e (14th c.); sate, sait (both Cursor M.); sete (Ancr. R.), seete (Wyclif). P.p. seten (Layamon), sete (Wyclif), sit(t)en, syten (all Cursor M.); satte (Cursor M.); setten, satt, sate, sit, sitt(e (all 16th c.), OE sittan (sæt, sǽton, ᵹeseten), MDu., MLG sitten, ON sitja. Cf. Set v. with which there is some overlap of forms and senses.In particular, p.t. and p.p. forms in set, etc. = sat, seated, without causal implication are included in Sit v. Ambiguity occurs, however, esp. with senses 1 and 18 of Set v.] intr.

1. To sit, to be or remain seated; passing into reduced sense to be, to remain, to stay.Some examples may belong in Set v. 1.

a. In lit. sense: With prep. phr. or adv. indicating location as complement. Also fig. Also without complement.(1) pres. 1375 Barb. x 613.
A place thai fand sa brad That thai mycht syt on anerly
a1400 Leg. S. xxix 418.
The tane … on the bank sittand, … the tothir on his bak lacht
?1438 Alex. i 487.
I sit all armit on my steid
?1438 Alex. ii 7671.
That … king … gart thame sit … On carpettis
a1538 Abell 7b.
Ane certane fischaris on the see side sittand and huntand thare clathis
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 465.
I sit vpon this hie mon[tagne] … Out of this place to gude ludgeing me leid
1562 St. A. Kirk S. 172.
To syt upon the penitent stul tym of the sermon
1662 Crim. Trials III 616.
The Divell sitton on an blak kist
(b) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 148/74.
To sett on dies with lordis at the cessioun
(c) 1544 Coll. St. Leonard 218.
Ane fyrme of fyr to seit one
p.t. ?1438 Alex. ii 8087.
The king sat on the marbill gray
c1420 Wynt. iv 218.
Apon a cowrsoure … he sat
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 743.
Vpon ane lytil bony stule Sat Fictus
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 197/6.
On cowch besyd the fyre scho satt
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10227.
Quhilk man it was that sat on our hall flure
p.p. 1456 Hay II 61/2.
Quhen a ȝong king is sett on his hye hors, he is proud
1513 Doug. vi xiii 65.
The moder of goddis … Berecynthia careit from tovn to tovn, Within hir char yset [L. Invehitur curru]
(b) c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark xi 62.
A colt … on quhilk na man has sitten
1574 St. A. Kirk S. 402.
He hes sittin upon the penitent stuill bot ten Sundais
1586 St. A. Kirk S. 579.
1626 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 8 March.(2) pres. 1375 Barb. x 768.
Schyr Peris Lubaut … thai fand In boyis and hard festnyng sittand
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 191.
He in sorow led his lyf Sytand in askis
a1500 Henr. Bludy Serk 115.
Lucifeir, Quha sittis in hell
c1475 Wall. vii 1159.
In a creddill to sit To lous the pyne
1511 Treas. Acc. IV 245.
To be him ane coit to syt in the scoile
15.. Lord Fergus' Gaist 21, 24.
And ȝe man sitt in ane compas And cry ‘Harbert tuthles’ … And sitt thair quhill cok craw
1533 Boece 35.
Gathele sitting in his merbill throne … to the pepill made … lawis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9761.
For his saik that sittis in heuin abufe
1570 St. A. Kirk S. 343.
Gelis Symsoun … to sit in the joiggis
a1578 Pitsc. I 258/22.
The king was sittand in the dask at his prayeris
a1585 Maitl. Q. 221/126.
Maist plesand place to mak repair Thairin to sit or gang
1601 St. A. Baxter Bks. 65.
1638 S. Leith Rec. 28/2.
15.. Sym & Bruder 107.
He gatt ane sit vp in the schill
(b) 1514 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 28.
He was satand in Jhone Smythis hous
p.t. a1500 Seven S. 2092.
Quhen the emprice hard of that Gretand in till hir bed scho sat And thar lay makand … mayne
1531 Bell. Boece II 413.
Erle Thomas … sat in ane chiar
1633 (1711) Sibbald's Orkn. & Shetl. 81.
The Court Holm, where they sate in the open fields in the Lawting
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxix 876.
In myn in As I set
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 1113.
Antipater, quhare he sete In presone
p.p. a1400 Leg. S. x 9.
In the tolbuth set Lewy, That as a tollare thare wes sate
(b) c1420 Wynt. iv 354.
This Cresus … dremand … thoucht he Wes in a crope set off a tre
a1500 Seven S. 2355.
The knycht fand hir in chyar set [: met]
(c) c1590 Fowler II 43/8.
This lang time … he [sc. the Pope] hes sittin in the middest of the tempill
1647 Dumfries Kirk S. 6 Dec.
Her seate … quhairin she constantlie hes sitten these many ȝeirs
(3) pres. 14.. Acts I 32/2.
Mysal men … sal sit at the toune end and thar ask almous
a1500 Seven S. 1512.
At the hie burd thai all sall sit
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1565.
I haue sene sittand at his tabill, Lordis and lairdis
15.. Wyf Awcht. 13.
He … saw the wyf … sittand at ane fyre
a1568 Pedder C. 50.
He sittis at hame quhen that thay baik
1670 Inverness Rec. II 242.
That all the hocksters formerlie in use to sitt at the cross be removed
p.t. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 1102.
Till that thai sait at the burd Amang thaim wes nan vthire word
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 147/21.
Langour satt up at my beddis heid
1571–2 Inverness Rec. I 212.
Calling of Christan Nykqueyn … carlingis geit that satt at the kirk style
p.p. c1420 Wynt. vii 486.
By the kyng than at the mete He wes at his tabill sete [C, W. set] In his hand a pes off brede
(b) 1667 Dumbarton B. Rec. App. i 9.
It war better for him to be sittin at his awn houss, nor lying with suche a woman
1687 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII 169.
Eftir they had sittene a prettie whylle att the deponents fyre syde
1731 Bk. Carlaverock II 363.
If that be all the manners … you have learn'd in Gallowy, you might setten at home
(4) 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 90.
Elspet Reid … fand thé sittand … at the fyir syid and ane wther auld wyiff … sittand betuen thi scholderis
1640 Rogers Social Life III 305.
He should have sitten before the pulpit, bot he was pittied
16… Nat. Lib. MS 22.2.11 4th last p.
Warme it againe as hot as yow can sitt above it
(5) c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 239.
& sytis one His Fadiris rycht hand
1490 Irland Mir. II 19/10.
He … sittis at the richt hand of God
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark x 37.
Graunt to vs that we sitt … on thi richt half [etc.] … in thi glorie
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 212.
Johnne satt vpoune the left syde of the pulppett
(6) 1375 Barb. x 632 (C).
Thai … thar satt hym by
a1400 Leg. S. xxiv 174.
He gaf to beggeris that sat hyme by
?1438 Alex. ii 5267.
Efter him nixt sat Perdicas Besyde the fare dame Fezonas
c1420 Wynt. vii 43.
He wald hym ta By hym to syt at that huntyng
a1500 Seven S. 1959.
And gart him sit with him
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 490.
He that sittis me nixt
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4370 (B).
Thay want na bubbillis that sittis hir neist
(b) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 132.
Quhen at he Suld sit in sege of maieste, Thai twelf suld set with hym-self
c1420 Wynt. vii 465.
Thare wes ane awlde knycht sete Amang thame that day at the mete
(7) 1375 Barb. vii 414.
He had bot schort quhile syttyn thar Quhen [etc.]
?1438 Alex. ii 5546.
Lo quhare He sittis, with the furrit mantill thare
c1475 Wall. v 1082.
Scho tald to thaim that Sothroune thar was set: ‘And ȝe be Scottis I consaill ȝow pas by … At drynk thai ar [etc.]'
1565–6 Edinb. Old Acc. II 220.
The stall quhair the provest sittis att the sermond
1623 Elgin Rec. II 180.
Alexander Innes … wald nocht suffer hir to sit in hir seat in the kirk … and said ‘Dewill a bitt of hir sittis heir’
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 748.
He that commes first to the hill, sits quhair he will
(8) 1375 Barb. xii 172.
All mychty God that syttis abuff
?1438 Alex. ii 2051.
Syne thay ȝeid To sit on sege … dame Fesonas Sat vmest … Syne Ideas … And Cassamus sat all the last
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 440.
Thai all that sittis about
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 487.
Mony blenkis ben our, that but full fer sittis
1585 Acts III 375/2.
The constable sould first voit in parliament notwithstanding that he satt not amang the rest of the erllis bot for doing of his office in parliament … satt laich doun in the parliament hous
(9) ?1438 Alex. i 2702.
Gaudifere sat as man of mane, That nouther arsoun na sterapis tynt
c1400 Troy-bk. i 352.
The king … gert thame sytt
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1156.
He gart at ane sete burd the strangearis begin The maist seymly in sale ordanit thame sete
a1500 Bk. Chess 724.
Thai gart espy this lord in tyme of mete And so thai saw fra tyme this lord was set That [etc.]
1504 Treas. Acc. II 427.
To ane man fand ane hair sittand
1600-1610 Melvill 246.
Trembling that he could skarse sitt
1639 Ritchie Ch. S. Baldred 246.
John Kirkwood being relapse in fornication, having setten six several days, receivit at the morning efter the preiching

b. In allusive or fig. use.Chiefly, to occupy a position of esteem, importance or authority; to rule. Also, once, to sit on binkis, to be a judge.To sit on (one's) owne cott taill, to pay one's own way. (Cf. mod. Sc. dial. to sit on (another's) coat-tail(s to depend on (another) (SND, s.v. Sit v. B 6 (5)).)To sitt between tuo stooles, (see Pirn n. 1 d).(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2652.
Pirrus … sittand in sege of renoun … in schort tyme … Thesaly was exaltate [etc.]
c1420 Ratis R. 1190.
He sittis heich
a1500 Seven S. 1526.
The lady befor the senatoure Sat in a chyere of hie honour
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4272.
To Christe he is gret lewtennand In holy Peteris saitt syttand
1560 Acts II 527/2.
That of the frute of his loynis sould ane sitt for euer vpoun his regall saitt
a1568 Scott i 169.
Sen so thow sittis in saitt superlatywe
a1578 Pitsc. I 32/18.
He is neirrest perrell … that seittis presentlie hichest vpone the quheill
a1578 Pitsc. I 224/19.
Beand ane ȝoung prence sittand wpoun the sait royall
1581-1623 James VI Poems II 16/9.
Thus hes Thou sittin into Thy gloriouse throne & as a iudge o iustest iudge hath done
a1508 Want of Wyse Men 8.
Want of wyse men makis fulis to sit on binkis
(2) 1620 Sc. Ant. I 93.
Those that sittes at the fuit of the tabill faires als weall as those at the heide
(3) 1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 650.
On his owne cott taill he satt
(4) 1660 Johnston Diary III 177.
He is lyk to sitt between tuo stooles
(5) 1513 Doug. ix Prol. 84.
Quhar I mysknaw myne errour, quha it fyndis For cheryte amendis it … Syne pardon me, sat sa far in my lycht

c. With various consts. indicating the occupation of the person while seated.Quot. Rauf C. may belong in Set v. 1.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii 11087.
At meit thay sat
a1500 Rauf C. 183.
Quhen thay war seruit and set to the suppar Gyll and the … king … Syne on the tother syde sat the Coilȝear
c1475 Wall. x 529.
The feild had left, and lugyt a south the toun To souper set
a1500 Seven S. 2375.
At the dynar a daye sittand
a1500 K. Hart 67.
Thai wald nocht lat him in Be caus thai said thair lord to feist wes set
1513 Doug. vi x 68.
Ane other sort … At bankat on the greyn herbys set was
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 162.
Quhen King Edmond was sittand at his eys [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I 257 h. of ch.
Quhan the king was settand at devotioun
a1578 Pitsc. I 158/22 (see a (2) pres. above). 1658 Rothesay Par. Rec. 5.
Whosoever of the townes-people bees found sitting at drink
1563 Dumfries B. Ct. in Prot. Bk. M. Carruthers 9.
Mark Carrutheris … saw the person … sittand in takkin with tham
(b) 1541 Prestwick B. Rec. 57.
For the wrangus wythcumen apoun hyme in Jonat Smythtis hous … he setand at his lawin
(2) 1375 Barb. v 390.
[They] sat and eyt
1427 Acts II 16/1.
At na liperous folk sit to thig nothir in kirk … na in nane vthir place within the borowis bot at thare awin hospitale
a1500 Seven S. 1040.
At that wyndo was all hir sport To sit and se and luke ourethort
a1540 Freiris Berw. 427 (M).
Still scho sat and leit thame all allane
1590 Burel Pilgr. i 405.
Or ȝit thair to sit thair On sick consaits to glaik
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 780.
He that slew his wife yesterday may sit and sa sorow on hir this day
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 993.
I will have other tow in your rock, nor sit and keme linget
1657 Balfour Ann. III 48.
A petition … by the eldest sonnes of noblemen … anent licience to them to sitt in the housse and heire
(b) a1400 Leg. S. l 27.
He … gert mak place, quhar all the folk … He mycht seit opynly and see
(3) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 197/2.
Drynkand the wyne satt cumeris tway
1513 Doug. vi ii 42.
Scho sat rumysand in hir cave
1513 Doug. Direct. 48.
Masteris of grammar sculys, Quhar ȝe syt techand on ȝour benkis and stulys
a1540 Freiris Berw. 262 (B).
It wer mair meit in to ȝour bed to be, than now to sit desyrand cumpany
1617 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 311.
This witt was sett smoaking … in ane obscure chymney corner at Leethe

d. With complements denoting the manner or state of sitting or being, state of mind, dress, etc. Freq. in reduced sense.(1) c1450-2 Howlat 24 (A).
Thus sat I in solace … Content of the fair firth
a1500 Henr. Fab. 292.
Thus as thay sat in all thair iolitie, The spenser … thame at denner fand
c1515 Asl. MS I 192/3.
Saxonis … lete him neuer sit a daye in pece
1535 Stewart 1024.
Than we and tha sall sit in rest and peice
c1530-40 Stewart Bann. MS 140b/31.
In sorrow ay thay sitt Bowdin and bleird
15.. Dum Wyf 70.
I did hir pray in silence for to sitt
(2) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 28.
Desperance thir seuin in ane saw sit
a1540 Freiris Berw. 282 (B).
Thay had levir sleip nor sit in cumpanye
(3) 1558-66 Knox II 389.
The ladyes who war thair sitting in all thair gorgiouse apparell
1650 Dingwall Presb. 170.
Ordayned to sitt in sackcloth
(4) 1375 Barb. vi 303 (C).
Thai fand the kyng sytand alane
1461 Liber Plusc. 387.
Sum ar heire crous that thaire will syt full dum
c1475 Wall. x 402.
Quhat Sotheroun he rycht hyt Straucht apon hors agayn mycht neuir syt
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 382.
Sik reule gerris thé … sitt unsoupit
1570 Sat. P. xiii 179.
We trowit from thence thay suld haif sittin saucht
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 647.
Als gude he had sittin ydle … Considering what reward he gatt
1600-1610 Melvill 8.
The burding of houshaulding … maid me above sit equal at the yeir's end
1607 S. Leith Rec. 5/1.
They agreit to sit togeither as neybors & gude friendes
1650 Inverurie 315.
John Reid … to have sitten too long in the ail house drinking
a1660 Sempill P. 32/728.
They sate so long, [etc.]
a1680 Blair Autob. 59.
I had sitten close all day reading

e. Const. upon a person: To remain with, guard (a person). 1649 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. LI (1975) 57.
Aille to the sythesers that satt upon Wallas the wich

2. Of a bird: To perch, roost, rest, also, to remain (on or in a place). a1500 Henr. Fab. 1735.
Ane swallow … On that hawthorne hie in the croip sittand
1513 Doug. xiii Prol. 56.
The smaill byrdis syttand on thar nestis
1513 Doug. xiii Prol. 62.
The mery nychtgaill … That on the thorn sat syngand
15.. Dunb. App. ii 12.
That bird … bownid hir nocht to fle fra me, But satt, & tald me hir intent
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3278.
The sillie py quhair scho sat in hir cage
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3237. 1596 Dalr. I 60/16.
Thay … leir thame [sc. geese] to sit without al feir in the mid feild and ȝardes
? a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1671.
Weil said quo the tod quhair sits your hennis

3. Of a person (or, once, an animal): To sit (up)on (one's) kne(s, to kneel.For further examples see Kne n. 2 c (3). a1400 Leg. S. xiii 173.
He … prayt for tham … sittand one his kne [etc.]
1456 Hay II 43/4.
Than suld the squier hald up his handis to the hevyn … syttand on his kneis
1538 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 10 Dec.
That Jhone Gothra sall cum at the next heid court … and sittand on his knees, ask forgifnes
15.. Clar. i 634.
Upon thair kneis in humbill wyse, They sat … befor Meliades
1559 Inverness Rec. I 33.
The said Elspet sall syt on hyr kneys at the mercat croce and say … scho leyd
1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. I 346.
Becaws of his hurt he mycht not sit upoun his kneis
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 181.
Capten James sitting all this whyle on his kneyis, ansuerit, [etc.]
1670 Kingarth Par. Rec. 63.
Sitting on her knees cursing … being in drink

4. a. Of a person: To be present, and seated, at a particular time and place, to carry out the functions of a judge, legislator or member of an administrative body; to come together or convene with others to carry out such functions. b. Of the legislative, etc. body itself: To be in session.Cf. Set v. 2, where some examples may belong.a., b. (1) pres. 1425–6 Acts II 11/2.
His chancellar [etc.] … sall syt … thre tymmis in the ȝere … & … determyn all … complayntis
1456 Acts II 46/2.
That thir lordis begyn to syt on the Monunday the viij day of Nouember in Edinburghe
1457 Acts II 47/1. 1459 Peebles B. Rec. I 134.
The eldest … with the chossyng doussane sytand and decretand thairapon
1497 Acta Conc. II 79.
That the sadis lordis of the chekkir certefy the day of the summondis to the lordis of consale that thai may avise tharewith and syt with thame the sade day
1503 Acts II 241/2.
Thai that ar justice & schiref for the northt ilis to sit in Inuernes or Dingwele
1524 Dumbarton B. Rec. App. ii 4.
To sit, desyde, determine, & to end all querelis [etc.]
1525–6 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 238.
Thir persouns … to sitt apoun this nixt sessioune
1565 Edinb. Univ. MS La.iii.388a, fol. 5b.
That na billis be delyuerit outwith the tolbuyth the sessioun beand sittand
1566 Reg. Privy C. I 441.
For … default of ane ordinar counsall dalie sittand
1622-6 Bisset I 131/25.
Ilk day that the lordis sittis
1646 Boharm Kirk S. 20 Sept.
To repair to the presbyterie to sitt at Aberlour … to desyre them [etc.]
1649 Lamont Diary 8.
This was the first session wherin the newe elected lords … did sitt
1657 Balfour Ann. IV 59.
To sitt still wntill the acte … be concludit
1669 Rothesay B. Rec. 175.
The saids magistrats and counsell … hes impowered him to meitt sitt voyce conclude and determein with the rest of the commissiouners
1691 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. XII 89.
The provost … named the town councill house within the tolbooth, assuring us that we might sitt there with all security and without any manner of disturbance
p.t. a1500 Bk. Chess 491. 1531 Treas. Acc. VI 48.
For the lordis justice and compositouris dennaris the tyme thai satt in the Tolbuith on the diett of Fyfe
1649 Lamont Diary 2.
The said meitting … satte from the 4. of Jan. till the 16. of March
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III 82.
Thus ended the altercating Parliament, which had nothing of a Parliament in it, but that it conveened, and satt, and rose againe
1683 Erskine Diary 1.
Perth, the Justice General, and Lord Maitland, the Justice Clerk, sat here
1683 Erskine Diary 25.
The Justice Court sat this day
p.p. 1375 Barb. i 621.
Ic ask ȝow respyt … Till to-morn, that ȝe be set And then … This letter sall I entyr … Befor all ȝour consaill
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 925.
Sa the assise beliue was set on raw And socht all actis in caisis criminall
1617 Crim. Trials III 423.
The removeing of ane only judge may be suppleit be the sitting of ane vther … And this was practizet in the … pannell … in the quhilk the Justice-depute was set, as being depute to the Erle of Ergyle
1657 Balfour Ann. III 170.
Dies primus parliamenti. After the Lordes wer sett and the comissioners of barrons and burroues [etc.]
a1676 Guthry Mem. 151.
Those judicatures being sate
1687 Shields Hind Let Loose 795.
They see the court fenced, and the judge set
(b) 1617 Crim. Trials III 424.
That this court is a supreame court … and that the said Mr. Alexander Coluile hes alreddie sittin and voittit in this cause
a1649 Drummond II 242.
The parlament lordes haue sitten twice fiue weekes Yet will not leaue their stooles
1661 Aberd. Council Lett. IV 133.
The parliament hes sitten fra ten in the morning to 7 or 8 at night … this weik
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III 154.
If that Parliament had sittne still
c1680 W. Row Blair 531.
After they had sitten some weeks, they were adjourned
(2) 1375 Barb. i 602.
The kyng sat into parleament
c1420 Wynt. vi 1353.
This legate … syttand in chapytere This byschape … gert appere
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1200.
Na iuge suld sit in consistory Sa lait
1577 Inverness Rec. I 259.
Prowest baillies and membris of court foirsaid sittand in fensit court as said is
a1578 Pitsc. I 181/2.
The lordis of Scottland quho was sitand than in consall
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 57.
Thai sate every ane at thair counsell ministring justice
1625 Conv. Burghs III 182.
The saids factouris does intrude theme selffis and sittis with the conservatour … in his courts, misregairding the merchands … the … commissioners … inhibittes … the saids factouris frome sitting at court with the said conservatour
1627 Justiciary Cases I 74.
His maiesteis secreit counsall being sitand in counsill
1629 Black Orkn. & Shetl. Folklore 79.
Ye ansrit he sould not sitt upoun your assyss
1648 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 91.
He grantit he haid sittin in the toun counsell and heid court
1657 Balfour Ann. IV 195.
This day the Viscount Neubrugh sate in the housse, non apposing it
1668-9 Fraser Lawfulness Separ. 13.
That they should not be sitten with in synods
(3) 1463 Aberd. B. Rec. I 23.
It was fundin … be the altherman and the balȝeis syttande in jugement that [etc.]
1517 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 170.
Comperit befoir ws sittand in the Tolbuith in jugement the haill … candilmakers
1531 Bell. Boece II 82.
King Eugenius … sat oftimes in jugement
1546 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 144.
Syttand with hyme in jugyment … Nycoll Rayd Lauman of Zetland
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i 910.
I … hald him as my fo, Forthy I will not sit in jugement
1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II 189.
The prouest … sittand in jugement findis [etc.]
1566 St. A. Kirk S. 292.
Syttand in jugiment as ballie and juge in Cowpar
a1578 Pitsc. I 224/3.
[The king] aught not to sitt in iudgement aganis his barrouns
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 122b.
The judge sould gif his sentence siteand in judgement after the conclusion of the cause
1491 Acts II 226/2.
That the chancellare with certane lordis of consale or ellis the lordis of sessioun sit for the administracioun of justice thris ilke ȝere
(4) a1400 Leg. S. iii 192.
To do law the juge set
a1400 Leg. S. iii 310.
Thé That juge of men sittis to be
1456 Acts II 46/2.
That … the lordis be chargyt to begyne and sit in sum cleyne place and ministyr justice
1501–2 Acta Conc. III 163.
That thai aucht nocht til syt and be jugis quhare his matir was undir pley
1513 Doug. vii iv 124.
He … sat and domys gaif
1535 Acts II 349/2.
That my lord chancellar … sitt wolkly ane day to trete on materis concernyng the commoun wele
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 46.
In this menetyme the parliament set to forfalt sic lordis as had fled

c. specif. Of a judge: To be seated for the giving of judgment. c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 10b.
Than aw the iuge to be agane incallit for to sitt & to heir the dome
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 110b.
Quhere dome is given foroutten judge sitand, that is na dome of law

5. To sit (up)on (in, anent) (a matter, etc.), to consider, to arbitrate, to come to a decision or judgment.(a) 1478 Acta Conc. I 19/1.
The lordis … wald nocht sit apoun na summondis quhil the said xj day
1495 Edinb. Hammermen 9.
Item till our awin stentouris that day at thaj set apone the stent
a1500 Bk. Chess 499.
And askit … Quhat was the thing thai sat apon sa lang
a1500 Bk. Chess 507.
On sic a thing thai sit Quhether better war [etc.]
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 153.
Na man sall sitt in prophane and temporall accionis withoute commissioun of the king
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 248.
He [sc. King Edward] was cumin with baith the partijs and his assessouris in ane quyete chalmer quhair it was devisitt to sitt on this mater
1548 Prot. Bk. Sir A. Gaw 2.
[He] protestit gif he set ony langar in the said caus for remeid of law and nullite of the proces
1557 Perth Hammermen 86.
Twelf of the maist honest and discrait maisteris to sit upone the commoun efferis of the craft
1590 Conv. Burghs I 340.
The schrefis … be sitting … vpoun caussis … propirlye belonging to the prouest and bailles of burrowes
1655 Laing MSS 297.
Calling people to offer themselves to a communion to be tried in publik and then to be sitten upon by the eldership and to be admitted or not as we should think good
1659 Anal. Scot. I 205.
For aill and bread to these who sate upon coill and candle money … £1 12 s.
1676 Rothesay B. Rec. 345.
Robert Stewart [etc.] … to sitt upon all debts and toun dewes restand to the said burgh this night … with power … to … citt any who is lyable
(b) a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 143/9.
The anciant fathers quha dewlye conuenit in the laudable counsall of Nece to site anent the mistery of this blissit sacrament
(c) 1600 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II 51.
With power to him to … mell sett and dispone thairupone as he sal think expedient

6. To occupy a position, const. as or for the position concerned.Some (or ? all) examples may rather belong with 4 above. 1428 Liber Melros II 519.
I syttand as iuge in to the suylȝe of Halsington
1490 Irland Mir.I 108/21.
Ymagin the hie maieste in godheid … sittand for juge, and thire foure nobile wertuis as aduocatis
1571 J. Maitland Maitl. F. 435/52.
Thay socht as soueranis for to sitt
1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 82.
He … had served and sitten as a councillour in the said burgh

b. specif. To occupy the papal or an episcopal see, also, const. in the see or place so occupied. Also with appositive complement.(1) c1420 Wynt. v 4550.
Quhen Anastas the pape wes dede, Symacus sat in [til] that sted Fyftene yhere
a1538 Abell 57 (bis) a.
Paip Constantin sat a ȝere
(2) c1420 Wynt. v 1570.
Sothere … Nyne yhere … Sat in to the Papys se
1596 Dalr. I 37/2.
In Fife, mairouir, sittis the primat of the realme
(3) 1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 222.
This Kellach sat bishop four years and sixteen days

7. To remain in occupation; take up residence; dwell (in, upon land, a house, a place). Also fig.(1) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 12 (B).
His ayre … sal syt in the eritage of al the land the qwhilk his fadyr had
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 45.
Quhasa … apone the lande of ony man sittis be the space of vii ȝer [etc.]
1459 Liber Aberbr. II 107.
The said smyth … vas callit lard of Caute in derisioun becaus he sett in the myddys of ane cauld moss
1525 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 76.
The tenand mycht sit in his hous
1550 Cupar B. Rec. 28 May.
To preiff his titill and rycht that he hes to syt in the said Jhonis tenement
c1575 Balfour Pract. 199.
Gif ony man sittis and dwellis upon ane uther manis land [etc.]
1577–8 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnsoun 145.
One half acre … with ane house to sitt in
1652 Fraser P. 243.
Possessione of the same to be sittin in brukit joysett possest
(2) 1520 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 57.
He sait ouer the terme and occupyit the ground
1549 Reg. Cupar A. II 240.
Thai haf sittin ij ȝeris but takkis
1556 Prot. Bk. D. Gray 8.
Gif he remanit vpone the laboring of the sammyn fra the day foirsaid furth … the said Thomas sall syt in violens
1559 Gunn Peebles Colleg. Ch. 158.
I discharge you of the … occupying of my land, and that ye laubour nor teill na mair on that land; and gif ye do, ye sall sit as violence
1622-6 Bisset II 254/34.
Gif … this awner dies befoir the terme: the tennent and haifare … sall sit quhill the nixt terme
1696 Donaldson Husbandry 124.
Bouch and sit, improve and flit
fig. 1638 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 551.
For we have sitten long mail-free

8. To fail to act, to delay; to abstain from action, to wait.Also with complement indicating duration. a1500 Prestis of Peblis 1248.
Is nane sa wicht … Agane his summond suithly that may sit
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 312.
It was wrought [sc. judgment] when God rose: it was not done when God sat; for the whole time when he sat his enemies were … stirring their time raging in murder
? 1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 313.
Suppose he hath sitten long … why hath he sitten but to see gif his enemies will repent
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 314.
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 53.
Wo to the soul that shall sit till this time of grace pass over, and will not come in in time
1700 Cramond Kirk S. IV 25 Aug.
After she had sitten a while, she knocked … at the doore

9. Of a thing: To be placed, to be in a place. Also fig. Cf. Set v. 12. a1500 Henr. Fab. 108.
Quhar suld thow sit bot on ane kingis croun
1570 Sat. P. xxii 54.
The forkit clauer besyde the Croce that sittis
1674 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 28 Nov.
Twellwe peeks of beire unthreshen sitteing in the yeard
fig. c1540 Lynd. Kitteis Conf. 105.
Thay syle thame as thay will And makis thare law conforme thare till; Sittand in mennis conscience Abone Goddis magnificence

b. Of a person's thoughts: To be preoccupied with or absorbed in a matter. a1400 Leg. S. xxi 149.
Thare in sat sa hale his thocht That he thareof wane the locht

10. To suit, be suitable, appropriate or acceptable. Freq. impers. = Set v. 8. b. specif. Of clothes. = Set v. 8 b.pres. c1400 Troy-bk. i 164.
It sittis ȝow notht full honestly … To manace … A king within hys awne land
c1400 Troy-bk. i 578.
Tharfor it syt no Cristyn man Ne, God of myght baith may and kan [etc.]
1456 Hay I 233/11.
It sittis nocht to noble men of armes for to mell thame tharwith
1456 Hay I 290/6.
Sen he is maist noble of princis, it sittis wele he have croune of the nobilast of all metallis
p.t. 1375 Barb. i 394.
In spek [wlispyt he sumdeill] Bot that sat him rycht wondre weill
a1500 Peblis to Play 164.
Be the fute scho gat him … Lord God richt weill that sat him
1535 Stewart 51386.
In his aige that sat him than full soir
15.. Christis Kirk 164 (M).
The far sarar it sat him [: lat him, at him; B. set him]
b. 15.. Christis Kirk 37 (M).
So schamfullie ane schort goun sat him [: at him, lat him, chat him; B. set him]

11. To perform the action of sitting, to sit down. 1490 Irland Mir. II 143/24, 25.
And quhen I se a thinge as a man syt or stand I am certane that he sittis or standis bot my sicht nouthir puttis na causis necessite in him

12. intr. and reflex. To sit (one) doun, to sit (oneself) down, to sit, be seated, seat oneself. (Cf. Set v. 1.) Const. as 1. Also fig. or in fig. context.Some examples of p.p. may belong in Set v.(1) pres. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1140.
O Mary … Sitt doun before thy sone celestiall, For ws synnaris His celsitude beseik
1513 Doug. ii ix 29.
I pray thé syt doune and cum hydder And lat [etc.]
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II 393.
The Lyoun King-at-Armes … who with his brethrein come in thair coats and sitt doun before the king
p.t. a1400 Leg. S. xvii 208.
Quhen the fyrst collet wes done, In his cathedyre he sat done
1513 Doug. x xiv 96.
He … apon hys [sc. a horse's] bak doun sat
a1540 Freiris Berw. 328 (B).
Then sat he doun [M. he set him doun], and kest abak his hude
1676 Grant Chart. 357.
Wee came to the shealling of the lymekilles, wher wee satt doune … to rest ws
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xl 565.
& fand a faire place, & set don, To pray
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4513.
All set doun to dine
p.p. ?1438 Alex. ii 6437.
The knychtis of Grece … Ar doune in myddis the palace set [F. assis] On silkin carpettis
1570 Leslie 16.
Eftir he was set doun to the burd
1611 Melvill Dream in Fugitive Poetry II x 3/8.
Nicolson … in the middes of many downe was sett And reading on a booke
1679 Wodrow Hist. III (1830) 109.
He … had sit down in a fur among his own corn and was reading upon the bible
(b) 1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 43.
If … I had sitten doune in my linnens … to read
1675 Alford Rec. 245.
I was no sooner sitten doune than [etc.]
fig. ?1661-5 M. Bruce Soul-Confirmation 20.
I am … like a sojourner with his knapsack on his back … I tak down the knapsack and I take a 20 years old experience … and I will sit down and take a meal of meat of it
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xix 248.
He set hyme done & speryt thane [etc.]
1535 Stewart 51829.
Erle Thomas … Set him self in till ane chyre doun syne
a1540 Freiris Berw. 399 (B).
Cum heir fair dame and sett ȝow doun me by
15.. Clar. iii 111.
Adoune scho set hir at hir bed feit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4517.
At the buird heid scho sat hir awin self doun
1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 50.
Sit ye down
1513 Doug. xiii xi 3.
Venus … rycht myld and moy Befor Jupiter down hir self set
(b) a1400 Leg. S. l 765.
He … seit hym done, With ceptre in hand

b. Of (the members of) a legislative body, council, committee, etc.: To take their seats as a council, etc., to convene. Also to sitt doun in to jugement, to judge. Cf. 4 above.(1) 1494 Lennox Mun. 152.
Freyndis … of batht the saidis parteis … sal syt down … to evyn all the said debatis
1532 Acts Sederunt i 3.
Eftir the lordis be enterit and sittin done and all the hous ischit, that all billis be first red [etc.]
1584 Gowrie P. 28.
His assise elected and sett downe, & the dittay red, the assessors could fynde nothinge [etc.]
1587 Acts III 447/2.
Vacance to be … during the moneth of Maij and thairefter to convene and sitt doun agane
a1605 Birrel Diary 56.
The 15 day [of May] the Lordis satt doune in session
1606 Bk. Univ. Kirk III 1026.
The lords modifiers … to sitt down att Edinburgh … for modification of stipends
1640 Aberd. Council Lett. II 270.
The parliament quhilk satt done upoun Tuisday
1649 Lamont Diary 6.
The Generall Assemblie that satte downe att Edenbroughe
1650 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 626.
All were sitt down in the house
1660 Aberd. Council Lett. III 257.
The sessione being sitten doune
1690 Cramond Kirk S. III 10 April.
A blessing from the Lord on the members of pairliament which are shortly to sitt doune, and for direction to thaim in their actings
(2) a1500 Henr. Hasty Credence 37.
Quhen that a flatterrer … Will tell ane taill … Thow sowld the pairteis call incontinent, And sitt doun sadly in to iugement

c. To establish oneself; to settle; to take up residence; to dwell or stay in, on or upoun a house, lands, a place. Cf. 7 above. Also fig. 1531 Bell. Boece I 133.
The Romanis war enterit … with purpos … to sit downe [M. to mak perpetuall residence in thair boundis] in thay landis
1559 Corr. M. Lorraine 427.
The France ar cumin in and sutin down in this realm to occupy it
1579 Reg. Privy C. III 241.
[He] satt doun upoun the ground of the saidis landis, held courtis thairupoun, and violentlie intrometit with and upliftit the dewiteis of the samin
1583 Reg. Privy C. III 591.
[They have] putt out the saidis Gilbertis tennentis of Cammilhoip, … and sittin doun thairupoun
1583 Bk. Univ. Kirk II 620.
With lose of his heritage, … he had proponit to sitt down in Sanct Androes
1595 Edinb. Test. XXIX 7.
Scho hes na hous to sett doun intill
1596 Dalr. I 189/6.
This king, nocht weil sittin doune in the impire, and skairse begunn to gouerne
1603 Philotus 359.
Quhair nane may beinlier sit doun, This citie all within
1639 Baillie I 210.
Our generall raises his campe from Dunglass, advertises his troupes at Kelso to march towards him; both of them … meets together at Dunce, and there they satt down on the head of that faire law
1698 Maxwell Mem. II 347.
The people of Duncow … came early this day … to the muire … and sat down … in the midst of my peats
fig. a1658 Durham Blessedness Death 13.
Death … finds you settled and sitten down in the world

d. To take a position upon oneself. Also with appositive complement. Cf. 6 above.(1) 1535 Stewart 41562 heading.
Donald Bane … efter his deid sat doun and rang into his steid
(2) 1614 Crim. Trials III 298.
And that he wes to come to Orknay and sitt doun Erll agane

e. fig. To settle upon an opinion. 1685-8 Renwick Serm. 357.
They have found this … that hath made them to think their case right enough, and so they have sitten down upon this

f. transf. or fig. Of a vice: To settle upon a person's spirits. 1685-8 Renwick Serm. 246.
The great carnality that is sitten down upon our spirits

g. Of a boat: To founder, sink. 1533 Boece 565.
Sa mony within ane [ship] enterit that scho … sat down and sank
1629 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 304.
The bot quhilk sat downe in the river

h. Of a horse, sheep: To cease from activity (due to exhaustion, age, etc.), to come to a halt, ? to founder. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 105/18.
Sum that war ryatous as rammis Ar … settin down lyk sarye crockis; And hes forsaekin all sic gammis
1579 Reg. Privy C. III 310.
Thay … wer owerthrawin be … thair persewaris; and thair horsse being sittin downe the saidis personis … slew … Walter Gledstanes

i. Of the wind: To drop. 1587-99 Hume 31/182.
Great is the calme for euerie quhair The wind is sitten downe

j. To sit doun on (one's) kne(s, to kneel. Cf. 3 above.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 604.
Befor the bischape … He set done one [his] kneis bath
a1500 Henr. Fab. 691 (Bann.).
Weill, quod the wolf, sit doun vpone thy kne. And so he did, bairheid, full humly
1493 Lindores A. 181.
That thai sall syt doune apon thar kneis in presens of vs
1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 118.
That George Michelhyll suld … syt down upone his kneis and put hyme in thair vyll quhat thai vyll do with hyme
1544 Aberd. B. Rec. I 198.
To cum … and syt down on hir knees and ask the said Jonat forgifnis
15.. Clar. iv 2615.
To hir he sate on kneis adoune
1558-66 Knox I 152.
Maister George hearing this, satt doune upoun his kneis in the pulpete
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in Cath. Tr. (STS) 90/27.
The rest … vith the lyk humilitie, sitting doun vpon thair kneyis … [he] thunderit … crying that to be papistrie
1603 Moysie 63.
Lord Hamiltoun … sat doun … on his kneis, and beggit his lyfe of the king
1659 Sc. Law Times (1935) 169.
The said Jonet Miller sate downe upon her knees courseing [= cursing]
(b) 1653 Peebles B. Rec. II 10.
Thomas Moses … shall set doune upon his knees, … and crave the pairtie offendit mercie

13. To sit up. a. To come to a sitting position (from prone). b. fig. To come to a halt (in an endeavour). Only Durham. c. To defer retiring to bed until a late hour.a. c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 904.
Sa all that nicht he … Sum tyme sat vp, and sumtyme turnit
b. a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 195.
They that sit up in the way, though having for a time run well, yet obtain not the crown
a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 74. a1658 Durham Subtile Self 17.
Make not a half returning, do not halt, nor sit up in the way
a1658 Durham Clavis Cantici 67.
[Christ] takes it well, when a believer is like to ly by and sit up, that he look up to him … to set him to his feet again
a1658 Durham Clavis Cantici 134.
Such as sleep, or are sitten up
a1658 Durham Clavis Cantici 307.
Christ sits not up nor fails
c. c1475 Wall. ix 1408.
Ane Inglis captane was sittand wp so lait Quhill he [etc.]

14. To sit by, to wait. 1513 Doug. xii i 38.
Lat Latyn pepill syttyng by to se Quhou … I sall revenge [etc.]

15. To sit still. a. To remain (seated); to continue to sit. Cf. 1. b. To remain in occupation (of land). c. To fail to act.a. 1513 Doug. x i 134.
Had not bene bettir thame in thar natyve hauld Have syttyn still amang the assys
1644 S. Leith Rec. 51/2.
Ordains the honest men of Restalrig sit still in the pew quherin thei sit for the present
a1650 Row 116.
None almost remained but … the provest and councill … satt still in their loft
b. 155. Cupar B. Rec. 28 May.
He hed ane sufficient titill to sit styll this instant ȝer in the said Jhonis hows
1583 Burntisland B. Ct. 25 June.
He micht sitt still in the saidis twa lawch houssis
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 253.
The tenant alleadging tolerance or pactione to sit still should prove be wreitt
c. 1644 Baillie II 164.
After he fand that Aberdeen had sitten still, when … his emissaries had come in, and … taken away their magistrates, … he hes come [etc.]

16. fig. To sit with (a wrong), to tolerate (it). Also transf. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 90.
That sege wald sit with none wrang Of berne that wes borne
a1578 Pitsc. I 28/3.
Ane man … nocht willing to seit with so mony wrangis as he had gottin onrewengit
1635 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 125.
They have been false to Christ, and He will not sit with the wrong
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i xxi 3 (1678) 222.
Nor is it probable that the person offended would have sitten long with such a wrong
1680 Cloud of Witnesses 5. 1685-8 Renwick Serm. 375.
He … will not sit with the wrongs done to his name, but will be avenged
transf. 1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 455.
A … ryot, so barbarous undercommuning that no law can sit with it

17. fig. To sit on or to (a person, his side or shoulders) (sar), to press on a person, become a difficulty or burden to him. c1475 Wall. x 690.
In to fleyng the Sotheroun suttaill ar Se thai the tym thai wyll syt on ws sar
1571 J. Maitland Maitl. F. 435/39.
Gif Inglis forcis in this realme repair … thay … will sit to our sydis as sair As now thy rebellis quhome thay sould reforme
1596 Dalr. I 147/25.
Quhen this feild with felicitie was endet, another scharpelie sittis til his schouldiris mair perrilous

18. tr. To refuse, pay no attention to, ignore (a demand, etc.). b. To sit one's time, to delay.(a) a1500 Rauf C. 99.
Durst scho neuer sit summoundis that scho hard him say
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 319. a1605 Montg. Flyt. 62 (T).
Sit thow this charge … The secund salbe sumthing sairer
1596 Dalr. II 217 marg.
Angus is commandet to Morayland bot sittis the kings chairge
1629 Boyd Last B. 117.
God … cannot sit the importunate cryes of wearied spirites
1629 Boyd Last B. 475.
God absolutelie at death must bee obeyed. None … may sit his summonds
1634 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 111.
I would … swim through the water without a boat ere I sat His bidding
? 1653 Binning Wks. 594.
Why do you sit so many fair offers, so many sad warnings
a1659 W. Guthrie Christians Gt. Interest (1776) 302.
To sit an offer, is not to accept of it in time
? a1658 Durham Clavis Cantici 139.
Who will have a heart to sit Christ's call
a1658 Durham Clavis Cantici 262.
Even believers may sit challenges against their light
1678 Wodrow Hist. II (1828) 493.
They write another letter, charging the lord McDonald to compear before them November 25th. But that popish lord continues to sit their charges
(b) 1513 Doug. iv vi 6 (Sm.).
Astonist he was to site so hie ane charge
b. 1685-8 Renwick Serm. 306.
Oh! we fear that many of you have sit your time; therefore delay no longer

19. To occupy (a seat). 1665 Bonckle Kirk S. 6.
Each of them having sitten the publict place of repentance a whole yeir in sacloath

20. To consider (an action or plea). 1610 Old Ross-shire I 77.
Quhilk actiones … we can no wayes sitt, judge nor cognosce be reason of the present vaccans

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Sit v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Dec 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: