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an upholstered seat with back and arms (sometimes upholstered), designed to accommodate two or more people in a sitting or reclining position. The earliest surviving types, dating back to the 17th century in Europe, have sides that let down for conversion into a bed. Variations of backrests and armrests appeared, and the precedent, still followed in the 21st century, was established of making the settee part of a matched set of chairs.