It is a quality that causes people to sit up and take notice—and even to feel a bond.
“We had to sit up with the kids until two in the morning,” an NAACP chapter president told me.
Perhaps these will persuade the Iranians to sit up and take notice.
Struggling to sit up, his breathing was heavily labored and each inhalation caused him obvious pain.
It was so hard to sit up there and stay composed and keep track of everything—to process what the facts were.
There—I'll sit up, and be proper, and you'll have plenty of room.
But I kept looking and after awhile I was able to sit up and ask what hit me.
Neither of them wanted to sit up, and yet they dared not lie down and try to sleep.
I should be b-a-d, and I should sit up nights to invent new ways of evil.
Then open the cold water faucet, begin to move about in the bath, sit up and wash face and chest with cold water.
Old English sittan "to occupy a seat, be seated, sit down, seat oneself; remain, continue; settle, encamp, occupy; lie in wait; besiege" (class V strong verb; past tense sæt, past participle seten), from Proto-Germanic *setjan (cf. Old Saxon sittian, Old Norse sitja, Danish sidde, Old Frisian sitta, Middle Dutch sitten, Dutch zitten, Old High German sizzan, German sitzen, Gothic sitan), from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit" (see sedentary).
With past tense sat, formerly also set, now restricted to dialect, and sate, now archaic; and past participle sat, formerly sitten. In reference to a legislative assembly, from 1510s. Meaning "to baby-sit" is recorded from 1966.
To sit back "be inactive" is from 1943. To sit on one's hands was originally "to withhold applause" (1926); later, "to do nothing" (1959). To sit around "be idle, do nothing" is 1915, American English. To sit out "not take part" is from 1650s. Sitting pretty is from 1916.