Definition of sedentary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsednˌterē/


1(Of a person) tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive.
Example sentences
  • Unfortunately, I am the most sedentary person there is.
  • If you are a sedentary person, that's a strike against you, because weight-bearing exercise increases the health of bones.
  • Moderately active fat people have far lower mortality rates than do thin sedentary people, and the same death rates as thin active people.
1.1(Of work or a way of life) characterized by much sitting and little physical exercise.
Example sentences
  • He mentioned TV and computer activity, and that work is more sedentary.
  • But if you've also learned unhealthy eating habits and sedentary ways from your family, you'll need to change your lifestyle.
  • I was fat for about 10 years living in France and the US with mainly sedentary work and abundance of food to eat.
1.2(Of a position) sitting; seated.
Example sentences
  • Similarly, Toronto festivalgoers can see the world every year without leaving a sedentary position.
  • The UK won 30 medals 19, of which were won from a sedentary position.
  • Then I notice that in this sedentary position, the whole ensemble rides up around my waist.
1.3 Zoology & Anthropology Inhabiting the same locality throughout life; not migratory or nomadic.
Example sentences
  • Falconids can be sedentary or migratory.
  • Some species of ovenbirds are migratory, others are sedentary.
  • The fish that were sedentary during the summer inhabited the deepest holes of the river.
1.4 Zoology (Of an animal) sessile.
Example sentences
  • Shake the crab harder, and you may dislodge tiny sea stars feeding on oysters and mussels, or sea urchins scavenging for seaweed and sedentary invertebrates.
  • Most studies of invertebrate larval metamorphosis have been performed with species that are sedentary or sessile as adults.
  • The walls and sea floor consist of stark boulders and rough seams of rock uncolonised by sedentary species.



Pronunciation: /ˈsed(ə)nˌterəlē/
Pronunciation: /ˌsed(ə)nˈterəlē/


Pronunciation: /ˈsed(ə)nˌterēnəs/
Example sentences
  • And probably, some increase in sedentariness is a factor, although this is actually quite difficult to measure.
  • Yet it is not a matter of choosing sides between models of nomadism and sedentariness.
  • However, Arnold and Owens have shown that cooperative breeding is associated with longer survival, smaller clutches, and increased sedentariness.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'not migratory'): from French sédentaire or Latin sedentarius, from sedere 'sit'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sed·en·tar·y

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