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[sich-oo-ey-shuh n] /ˌsɪtʃ uˈeɪ ʃən/
manner of being situated; location or position with reference to environment:
The situation of the house allowed for a beautiful view.
a place or locality.
condition; case; plight:
He is in a desperate situation.
the state of affairs; combination of circumstances:
The present international situation is dangerous.
a position or post of employment; job.
a state of affairs of special or critical significance in the course of a play, novel, etc.
Sociology. the aggregate of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors acting on an individual or group to condition behavioral patterns.
1480-90; < Medieval Latin situātiōn- (stem of situātiō). See situate, -ion
Related forms
situational, adjective
situationally, adverb
1. site. 4. See state. 5. See position. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for situations
  • Where hardy, all are valued for ease of maintenance in difficult situations and for handsome, glossy foliage.
  • Let's use the example of a fruit tree in the ground, but you can easily adapt this to other situations.
  • To tailor your hose to various water situations, you can choose from these attachments.
  • Studies show that coaches often make poor choices in crucial situations.
  • Natural photos are those that involve everyday situations that may demonstrate a variety of physics concepts.
  • They're dealing with some pretty high-risk situations.
  • IT is surprising that producers so often fail to insist on natural acting and logical situations.
  • But even so, some students struggle financially, especially when faced with emergency situations.
  • In many other situations, no doubt, they've conducted themselves honorably.
  • In such situations, the president has a significant task of persuasion, which cannot be left solely to the champion.
British Dictionary definitions for situations


physical placement, esp with regard to the surroundings
  1. state of affairs; combination of circumstances
  2. a complex or critical state of affairs in a novel, play, etc
social or financial status, position, or circumstances
a position of employment; post
Derived Forms
situational, adjective
Usage note
Situation is often used in contexts in which it is redundant or imprecise. Typical examples are: the company is in a crisis situation or people in a job situation. In the first example, situation does not add to the meaning and should be omitted. In the second example, it would be clearer and more concise to substitute a phrase such as people at work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for situations



early 15c., "place, position, or location," from Middle French situation or directly from Medieval Latin situationem (nominative situatio) "a position, situation," noun of action from past participle stem of situare "to place, locate" (see situate). Meaning "state of affairs" is from 1710; meaning "employment post" is from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for situations

sitting pretty, be

verb phrase

To be in a superior and very pleasant position: He's just the same genial idiot whether he is out of luck or sitting pretty (1921+)

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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Idioms and Phrases with situations


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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