In One Sitting: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 17, 2023

The expression "in one sitting" depicts the act of completing something in a single, uninterrupted period. It conjures the image of someone so engrossed in an activity that they finish without taking breaks. While often associated with reading, watching, or eating, it can apply to any task or activity.

In short:

  • "In one sitting" signifies finishing a task without any interruptions or breaks.
  • It's a reflection of dedication, focus, or sometimes sheer indulgence.

What Does "In One Sitting" Mean?

The phrase "in one sitting" vividly conveys the idea of completing a task or engaging in an activity without interruptions, from start to finish. It emphasizes focus, determination, or sometimes pure enjoyment.

Let's dive into its core meanings and usage:

  • The phrase represents finishing a task without taking any breaks.
  • It suggests a level of dedication or engrossment in the activity.
  • Commonly associated with activities like reading, eating, or watching, but can apply to various tasks.

While the phrase generally has a positive connotation, indicating commitment or enthusiasm, it can sometimes imply overindulgence.

Where Does "In One Sitting" Come From?

Tracing back the origins of idioms can be fascinating, and "in one sitting" is no exception. The phrase likely originates from the physical act of sitting down to complete a task.

Historical Usage

"He read the entire manuscript in one sitting, unable to put it down."

This quote from the early 20th century captures the essence of being completely absorbed in an activity, so much so that the individual didn't feel the need to take a break.

10 Examples of "In One Sitting" in Sentences

Let's dive into various ways this idiom can be used:

  • I was stuck in traffic for hours, so I was able to finish the entire audiobook in one sitting.
  • She finished the puzzle in one sitting.
  • They watched the entire series in one sitting.
  • "You finished that whole pizza in one sitting?" "Yeah, I feel you; I was super hungry too!"
  • She read the entire novel in one sitting.
  • We played the board game from start to finish in one sitting.
  • The novel's sneak peek piqued my interest. No regrets; it was great. I read the entire book in one sitting.
  • They binge-watched the show in one sitting.
  • She completed the marathon viewing in one sitting.
  • My jaw dropped in amazement when she told me she had watched the entire series in one sitting.

These examples demonstrate the flexibility of the phrase, applicable across different contexts and situations.

Examples of "In One Sitting" in Pop Culture

Pop culture frequently showcases our tendencies to binge or indulge, making "in one sitting" a common reference.

  • Stranger Things became so popular that many reported watching the entire season in one sitting.
  • The book "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" had fans reading in one sitting due to its gripping storyline.
  • In a talk show interview, a famous actor confessed to eating an entire cake in one sitting.

Other/Different Ways to Say "In One Sitting"

Language is vast and varied, and there are many ways to convey the idea of doing something without taking a break:

  • In a single go
  • All at once
  • Without stopping
  • From start to finish
  • Without a break

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "In One Sitting":

  • What exactly does "in one sitting" mean?

It refers to completing an activity without taking any breaks.

  • Where did the idiom originate?

Its origins likely trace back to the act of sitting down to finish a task without interruptions.

  • Is it only used for reading or watching?

No, it can be used for any activity done without breaks.

  • Can it be used in a negative context?

Yes, sometimes it can imply overindulgence.

  • Is "in a single go" a synonym?

Yes, it's one of the ways to convey a similar idea.

  • Do other cultures have a similar idiom?

Yes, many cultures have idioms expressing the idea of continuous effort or indulgence.

Yes, it's acceptable in both formal and informal contexts.

  • Does it always indicate a positive action?

Not always. It can sometimes imply a lack of self-control or overdoing something.

  • Is it a modern idiom?

While popular today, its origins trace back, making it a time-honored expression.

  • Is binge-watching a series "in one sitting" common?

With the rise of streaming platforms, it has become a common activity for many.

Final Thoughts About "In One Sitting"

"In one sitting" is a phrase often used to highlight dedication, endurance, or sometimes sheer indulgence. Whether you're an avid reader finishing a novel, a gamer conquering a level, or just someone binge-watching their favorite series, "in one sitting" conveys the idea of completing something without interruptions.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • It describes completing an activity without breaks or interruptions.
  • People use the phrase to indicate persistence, focus, or sometimes a bit of overindulgence.
  • It captures moments when we're so engrossed that the world fades away.

So, the next time you dive deep into a novel or a TV series, remember the value of pauses and the joy of anticipation!

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