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anxious seat

Also called anxious bench. Chiefly North Atlantic States and Southern and South Midland U.S. a seat reserved at a revival meeting for those troubled by conscience and eager for spiritual assistance.
a state of anxiety, especially about the outcome of a vote, negotiation, etc.:
Strikers have been in the anxious seat for the last three days.
Origin of anxious seat
1810-20, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anxious seat
Historical Examples
  • Let each worshiper be a mourner over his sins, each pew an anxious seat.

  • Ill turn up some day in the anxious seat when you dont expect me.

    A Singular Life Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
  • During this time Mrs. Dare had been on the anxious seat, so to speak.

    The Dare Boys of 1776 Stephen Angus Cox
  • That took him off of the anxious seat and put him on the solid.

  • Both, certainly, were new, and both prescribed one capital and fundamental principle-'the anxious seat.'

  • There now were nine applicants on the anxious seat in the reception room.

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
  • I have been on the anxious seat ever since I received your telegram.

    Randy of the River Horatio Alger Jr.
  • A smile illumined his pleasant features as he remembered that Mr. Bobo, like himself, was sitting upon the anxious seat.

    Bunch Grass Horace Annesley Vachell
  • They kept persistently after us, and we were more or less on the anxious seat, till it did get dark.

    Raw Gold Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • Publishers are now sometimes kept on the anxious seat for months awaiting decisions which may wreck their businesses.

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