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sitter-in, n.

Inflections:   Plural sitters-in.
Origin: Formed within English, by compounding. Etymons: sitter n.1, in adv.
Etymology: < sitter n.1 + in adv., after to sit in at sit v. Phrasal verbs 1 and (in sense 4) also sit-in n.
With sense 4   compare earlier sit-inner n.

 1. A participant in a card game. Now rare.Often figurative as part of an extended metaphor.

1913   T. W. Lawson in Everybody's Mag. Feb. 208/1   An elaborate..mechanism for concentrating the savings of the people in the hands of a few unscrupulous manipulators, that each sitter-in in the crooked game may pile them as chips in front of him.
1920   Printers' Ink Monthly Aug. 50/1   The United States is comparatively a new sitter-in at the game. But you already know the meaning of the cards, and I can pay you this sincere compliment: you're mighty apt pupils.
1934   B. Braley Pegasus pulls Hack xxiii. 140   Franklin P. Adams..was an occasional sitter-in.

1913—1934(Hide quotations)


 2. A musician who plays or sings with a band, esp. a jazz band, of which he or she is not a regular member. Cf. to sit in 6 at sit v. Phrasal verbs 1.

1938   Vogue 1 Dec. 97/1   Bobby Hackett's band is a free-for-all, a haven for sitters-in.
1968   Blues Unlimited Dec. 12   Jake recorded with his current group..plus assorted sitters-in.
1988   L. O. Koch Yardbird Suite 148   DeFranco was a frequent sitter-in at The Roost and had been working with George Shearing during the last of 1948.
2014   Chester Chron. (Nexis) 1 May 44   Admission prices for the jam session are £6.50, concessions £5.50, with a special rate of £3 for sitters-in and school children.

1938—2014(Hide quotations)


 3. A babysitter. Cf. sitter n.1 2b(d). Now rare.

1946   Manch. Guardian 14 Feb. 6/4   The provision of ‘sitters-in’ to enable husband and wife to spend an occasional evening out together.
1951   M. Kennedy Lucy Carmichael vii. iv. 330   ‘We shan't even be able to go to the club.’ ‘We'll get a sitter-in for them.’
1960   Guardian 30 Dec. 10/5   The husband..[acted] as the sitter-in when his wife was on evening shift.

1946—1960(Hide quotations)


 4. A participant in a sit-in strike or demonstration; = sit-inner n.

1961   Daily Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi) 4 July 1/1   The counters were closed immediately when groups of Negroes entered the stores and took seats. The sitters-in departed after short stays.
1976   J. I. M. Stewart Memorial Service vi. 92   There would be eruptions. ‘Demos’ would be held, buildings sat in by sitters-in.
1994   P. Theroux Translating LA x. 229   The mother..stringing banners from the oppressive English oaks outside University Hall, which sitters-in would have renamed Cuchulain Hall.
2007   H. Kunzru My Revolutions 72   I knelt under that same banner to have my picture taken for the newspaper, along with all the other sitters-in.

1961—2007(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, March 2019).