sit on (something)
sit on (something)
1. To be a member of some group of officials. She's been asked to sit on the president's foreign intelligence council. I sat on the board of directors for a number of years, but I did not have an active role in the company.
2. To suppress, repress, stifle, or hide something. The company sat on reports indicating a health risk in their products for nearly ten years until sick customers started coming forward with lawsuits. The government is clearly sitting on evidence that would clear the man's name.
3. To join or meet in order to discuss, confer, or consult about something. The city council promised to sit on the issue at its next meeting. They asked me to sit on the case because of my familiarity with the topic.
4. To delay, postpone, or avoid using something. With the amount of money that company's sitting on, you'd think they could figure out a product that actually works properly! They're sitting on some of the best talent in the industry, and it's all just going to waste.
5. To delay, postpone, or avoid taking some action or making some decision. It's a lot of money to spend on a car—let me sit on it for a day or two, and I'll give you a final decision then. The boss said she was sitting on my idea until more sales figures came in.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
sit on someone or something
1. Lit. to place oneself in a sitting position on someone or something. The enormous woman knocked the crook out and sat on him until the police came. I need to sit on this chair for a minute and catch my breath.
2. Fig. to hold someone or something back; to delay someone or something. The project cannot be finished because the city council is sitting on the final approval. Ann deserves to be promoted, but the manager is sitting on her because of a disagreement. It's hard to do your best when you know that someone is sitting on you, and no matter what you do, it won't help your advancement.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, sit upon.
1. Confer about or deliberate over, as in Another attorney was called to sit on the case. [Mid-1400s]
2. Suppress or repress, as in I know they were sitting on some evidence. [Early 1900s]
3. Postpone action or resolution regarding, as in I don't know why the city council is sitting on their decision. [Early 1900s]
4. Rebuke sharply, reprimand, as in If he interrupts one more time I'm going to sit on him. [ Slang; second half of 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To occupy a seat as a member of some body of officials: The president of the company sits on the board of directors.
2. To confer about something: The committee will sit on the matter tomorrow and make a decision.
3. To affect someone with or as if with a burden: Our financial troubles sat heavily on my parents.
4. To suppress or repress something: The attorney suspected the prosecution of sitting on evidence that could help her client.
5. To postpone action or resolution regarding something: I'm going to sit on the proposal until I have more information. The company is sitting on $500 million in cash, and everyone is wondering what they'll do with it.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.