What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[seet-uh v-th uh-pants] /ˈsit əv ðəˈpænts/
using or based on experience, instinct, or guesswork:
a seat-of-the-pants management style.
done without the aid of instruments:
The pilot made a seat-of-the-pants landing.
Origin of seat-of-the-pants
1940-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for seat-of-the-pants
  • Equally compelling is the picture of imaginative, seat-of-the-pants policymaking that emerges as the tale progresses.
  • Waiting until you know things are not going to work out is the wrong time to improvise a seat-of-the-pants decision.
  • Consequently, adaptive management can be thought of as a hybrid between pure research and seat-of-the-pants management.
  • To date, the location of the bands is based on seat-of-the-pants estimates of the mean wind between the surface and cloud top.
Slang definitions & phrases for seat-of-the-pants



Inclined to work by instinct, feel, impulse, etc, rather than by precise rules; practical: The news had seat-of-the-pants editors who knew their audience (1970s+)

Related Terms

fly by the seat of one's pants

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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