anxious-seat

anxious seat

noun
1.
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.
2.
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:
1810–20, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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