Definition of squat in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /skwɒt/

verb (squats, squatting, squatted)

1 [no object] Crouch or sit with one’s knees bent and one’s heels close to or touching one’s buttocks or the back of one’s thighs: I squatted down in front of him
More example sentences
  • The older boy squatted down on his heels and waited.
  • After 35 years of plumbing and heating work, I was having trouble bending my knees and squatting under sinks.
  • I squatted down beside him and offered him water.
crouch (down), hunker (down), sit on one's haunches, sit on one's heels, sit, bend down, bob down, duck down, hunch, cower, cringe
North American informal scooch
1.1 [with object] Weightlifting Crouch down with one’s knees bent and rise again while holding (a specified weight) across one’s shoulders: he can squat 850 pounds
More example sentences
  • You just squatted your heaviest-ever weight.
  • Below are the equations you can use to predict how much weight you can squat for 10 reps.
  • "To start, I could hardly squat 25 pounds, " admits Mary.
2 [no object] Unlawfully occupy an uninhabited building or settle on a piece of land: eight families are squatting in the house
More example sentences
  • Mrs Kapijimpanga, however, cautioned the residents against squatting on land that has been unlawfully acquired.
  • In the 1990s, it helped slum residents in Bombay to claim the land they were squatting on and turn it into a proper residential estate with running water and electricity.
  • I bloody well hope that he knows these people are squatting on his land.
2.1 [with object] Unlawfully occupy (an uninhabited building): Clare, Briony, and the others had squatted the old council house
More example sentences
  • The trauma of resisting developers had seen him end up in a geriatric hospital and his friends had quickly moved in to squat the house.
  • I'd like to give big thanks and love to Mike for allowing us to squat his luxury pad for the week.
  • But the group made its biggest splash by breaking into an empty shop and squatting it as a ‘social centre’.
2.2 [no object] Australian /NZ historical Occupy a tract of Crown land in order to graze cattle or sheep: many people moved further out and squatted on the land
More example sentences
  • Those who had eked out a marginal existence by squatting on the commons were evicted.
  • The great expanse of unoccupied land available for squatting throughout southeastern Australia implied that the sheep could be left to wander.
  • In the bush the first owner-builders also operated outside the law as they squatted on Crown land.

adjective (squatter, squattest)

Short and thickset; disproportionately broad or wide: he was muscular and squat a squat grey house
More example sentences
  • The face is characteristically square or broad with a short neck, often giving a squat appearance.
  • I look at the ugly, squat houses and try to imagine being locked in them (along with my entire family) for months on end.
  • Close to where I had been sitting the light picked out a squat toad about the size of a small teapot.
stocky, dumpy, stubby, stumpy, short, thickset, heavily built, sturdy, sturdily built, heavyset, chunky, solid;
burly, beefy;
technical mesomorphic, pyknic
Australian/New Zealand  nuggety
British informal fubsy
low, stumpy, short, small, stocky, stunted


1 [in singular] A squatting position.
Example sentences
  • She fell back into a squat from the kneeling position he had raised her to.
  • From this starting position, sit down into a squat.
  • Catch the ball, drop into a squat, then spring up, tossing your partner the ball.
1.1 Weightlifting An exercise in which a person squats down and rises again while holding a barbell across one’s shoulders.
Example sentences
  • Strong and flexible calves play an important stabilizing role in exercises like the squat, the deadlift and the clean.
  • If you want to be a powerlifter, then there are specific training regimens you can follow to increase your poundage for your bench, squat and deadlift.
  • Keep the dumbbell centered between your knees as you descend into a deep squat, keeping your head up and low back slightly arched.
1.2(In gymnastics) an exercise involving a squatting movement or action.
Example sentences
  • The squat is one of the best exercises to develop and define the front of the thigh, glute and hamstring muscles.
  • What better way to ‘ease’ back into gym life than with squats and lunges.
  • So I've decided to compromise, cutting out the carbs at night and doing squats in the living-room.
2A building occupied by people living in it without the legal right to do so: a basement room in a North London squat
More example sentences
  • Many are of ‘no fixed abode’, either living in squats or at established protest camps at airports or proposed roads.
  • The relationship had deteriorated and she had become depressed, ending up living in squats in Bristol.
  • They got used to us living in squats and living for free.
2.1An unlawful occupation of an uninhabited building: this squat cost the ratepayer £46,000
More example sentences
  • 144 Piccadilly next door was the site of a famous squat in the troubled summer of 1969.
  • If the squat is successful, the occupied building will become a self-managed social housing and community centre.
  • But talk of large, illegal squats by visiting protesters is already beginning, with parks, streets, riverbanks and even an abandoned hospital as potential targets.
3North American informal short for diddly-squat. I didn’t know squat about writing plays
More example sentences
  • You coach doesn't know squat so don't take advice from him.
  • Why hire a " swim specialist " who doesn't know squat about triathlon?
  • If he can't be seen by the public, his ability doesn't mean squat.



Example sentences
  • He rose from the chair and crossed the room to a shadowed corner where a large safe sat squatly.
  • Sitting squatly in the beachfront park, the Big Penguin is rumoured to be the largest penguin in the world.
  • But there, on the green strip, a seagull stood squatly.


Example sentences
  • For all his seeming squatness, his movements were precise, and his hands in particular were small and sinewy.
  • The French bulldog breed is prone to several conditions and congenital diseases the most common of these being problems relating to breathing due to the squatness of their face.
  • The addition of the larger screen and video capabilities are nice but I'm not keen on the squatness and I particularly dislike the colors.


Middle English (in the sense 'thrust down with force'): from Old French esquatir 'flatten', based on Latin coactus, past participle of cogere 'compel' (see cogent). The current sense of the adjective dates from the mid 17th century.

Words that rhyme with squat

allot, begot, Bernadotte, blot, bot, capot, clot, cocotte, cot, culotte, dot, forgot, garrotte (US garrote), gavotte, got, grot, hot, jot, knot, lot, Mayotte, motte, not, Ott, outshot, plot, pot, rot, sans-culotte, Scot, Scott, shallot, shot, slot, snot, sot, spot, stot, swat, swot, tot, trot, undershot, Wat, Watt, what, wot, yacht

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: squat

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.