situation

Situation is related to the verb "situate," which means to place. A building might be situated on the top of a hill — that's its position or situation.

You've probably heard the term "sitcom," but may not realize it is short for "situation comedy," or a comedy where the humor is based on a set of quirky circumstances the characters find themselves placed in. A situation can also mean a set of circumstances that you find yourself placed in: holding both halves of a crazy aunt's broken vase could be a sticky situation — perfect for a situation comedy.

Definitions of situation
  1. noun
    physical position in relation to the surroundings
    synonyms: site
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    active site
    the part of an enzyme or antibody where the chemical reaction occurs
    close quarters
    a situation of being uncomfortably close to someone or something
    locus
    the specific site of a particular gene on its chromosome
    locus of infection
    the specific site in the body where an infection originates
    restriction site
    the specific sites at which a restriction enzyme will cleave DNA
    antigenic determinant, determinant, epitope
    the site on the surface of an antigen molecule to which an antibody attaches itself
    type of:
    place, position
    the particular portion of space occupied by something
  2. noun
    the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time
    “the present international situation is dangerous”
    “"eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation"- Franklin D.Roosevelt”
    synonyms: state of affairs
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    absurd, the absurd
    a situation in which life seems irrational and meaningless
    acceptance
    the state of being acceptable and accepted
    ballgame, new ballgame
    a particular situation that is radically different from the preceding situation
    challenge
    a demanding or stimulating situation
    childlessness
    the condition of being without offspring
    complication
    a situation or condition that is complex or confused
    crowding
    a situation in which people or things are crowded together
    disequilibrium
    loss of equilibrium attributable to an unstable situation in which some forces outweigh others
    element
    the situation in which you are happiest and most effective
    environment
    the totality of surrounding conditions
    equilibrium
    a stable situation in which forces cancel one another
    exclusion
    the state of being excluded
    fish bowl, fishbowl, goldfish bowl
    a state of affairs in which you have no privacy
    hotbed
    a situation that is ideal for rapid development (especially of something bad)
    inclusion
    the state of being included
    intestacy
    the situation of being or dying without a legally valid will
    picture, scene
    a situation treated as an observable object
    prison, prison house
    a prisonlike situation; a place of seeming confinement
    rejection
    the state of being rejected
    size, size of it
    the actual state of affairs
    square one
    the situation in which you begin an endeavor and to which you return if your efforts fail
    status quo
    the existing state of affairs
    thing
    a special situation
    congestion, over-crowding
    excessive crowding
    balance
    a state of equilibrium
    balance of power
    an equilibrium of power between nations
    dynamic balance
    (aeronautics) the state of equilibrium in which centrifugal forces due to a rotating mass (e.g., a propeller) do not produce force in the shaft and so vibration is reduced
    homeostasis
    (physiology) metabolic equilibrium actively maintained by several complex biological mechanisms that operate via the autonomic nervous system to offset disrupting changes
    isostasy
    (geology) a general equilibrium of the forces tending to elevate or depress the earth's crust
    Nash equilibrium
    (game theory) a stable state of a system that involves several interacting participants in which no participant can gain by a change of strategy as long as all the other participants remain unchanged
    poise
    a state of being balanced in a stable equilibrium
    thermal equilibrium
    a state in which all parts of a system are at the same temperature
    imbalance, instability, unbalance
    a lack of balance or state of disequilibrium
    vogue
    a current state of general acceptance and use
    acknowledgement, acknowledgment, recognition
    the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged
    approval, favorable reception, favourable reception
    acceptance as satisfactory
    acceptation
    acceptance as true or valid
    content, contentedness
    the state of being contented with your situation in life
    acquiescence
    acceptance without protest
    welcome
    the state of being welcome
    apostasy, defection, renunciation
    the state of having rejected your religious beliefs or your political party or a cause (often in favor of opposing beliefs or causes)
    disfavor, disfavour
    the state of being out of favor
    censure, exclusion, excommunication
    the state of being excommunicated
    reprobation
    rejection by God; the state of being condemned to eternal misery in Hell
    embrace
    the state of taking in or encircling
    encompassment
    including entirely
    Coventry, banishment, ostracism
    the state of being banished or ostracized (excluded from society by general consent)
    debarment
    the state of being debarred (excluded from enjoying certain possessions or rights or practices)
    circumstance, context, setting
    the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event
    ecology
    the environment as it relates to living organisms
    background, scope, setting
    the state of the environment in which a situation exists
    home
    an environment offering affection and security
    milieu, surroundings
    the environmental condition
    area, arena, domain, field, orbit, sphere
    a particular environment or walk of life
    street
    the streets of a city viewed as a depressed environment in which there is poverty and crime and prostitution and dereliction
    type of:
    state
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  3. noun
    a condition or position in which you find yourself
    “found herself in a very fortunate situation
    synonyms: position
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    place, shoes
    a particular situation
    poverty trap
    a situation in which an increase in income results in a loss of benefits so that you are no better off
    soup
    an unfortunate situation
    stymie, stymy
    a situation in golf where an opponent's ball blocks the line between your ball and the hole
    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
  4. noun
    a complex or critical or unusual difficulty
    “the dangerous situation developed suddenly”
    “that's quite a situation
    “no human situation is simple”
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    conflict of interest
    a situation in which a public official's decisions are influenced by the official's personal interests
    crisis
    an unstable situation of extreme danger or difficulty
    crunch
    a critical situation that arises because of a shortage (as a shortage of time or money or resources)
    hornet's nest, hornets' nest
    a highly contentious or hazardous situation
    hot potato
    a difficult situation
    how-d'ye-do, how-do-you-do
    an awkward situation
    embroilment, imbroglio
    an intricate and confusing interpersonal or political situation
    Mexican standoff
    a situation in which no one can emerge as a clear winner
    incubus, nightmare
    an oppressive situation resembling a terrifying dream
    no-win situation
    a situation in which a favorable outcome is impossible; you are bound to lose whatever you do
    pass, strait, straits
    a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs
    purgatory
    a temporary condition of torment or suffering
    swamp
    a situation fraught with difficulties and imponderables
    ticking bomb, time bomb
    a problematic situation that will eventually become dangerous if not addressed
    tinderbox
    a dangerous state of affairs; a situation that is a potential source of violence
    urgency
    an urgent situation calling for prompt action
    dead end, deadlock, impasse, stalemate, standstill
    a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible
    quicksand
    a treacherous situation that tends to entrap and destroy
    Dunkirk
    a crisis in which a desperate effort is the only alternative to defeat
    exigence, exigency
    a pressing or urgent situation
    critical point, crossroads, juncture
    a crisis situation or point in time when a critical decision must be made
    desperate straits, dire straits
    a state of extreme distress
    depression, economic crisis, slump
    a long-term economic state characterized by unemployment and low prices and low levels of trade and investment
    type of:
    difficulty
    a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome
  5. noun
    a job in an organization
    synonyms: berth, billet, office, place, position, post, spot
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    academicianship
    the position of member of an honorary academy
    accountantship
    the position of accountant
    admiralty
    the office of admiral
    ambassadorship
    the post of ambassador
    apostleship
    the position of apostle
    apprenticeship, internship
    the position of apprentice
    associateship
    the position of associate (as in an office or academy)
    attorneyship
    the position of attorney
    bailiffship
    the office of bailiff
    baronetage
    the state of a baronet
    bishopry, episcopate
    the office and dignity of a bishop
    cadetship
    the position of cadet
    caliphate
    the office of a caliph
    captaincy, captainship
    the post of captain
    cardinalship
    the office of cardinal
    chairmanship
    the position of chairman
    chancellorship
    the office of chancellor
    chaplaincy, chaplainship
    the position of chaplain
    chieftaincy, chieftainship
    the position of chieftain
    clerkship
    the job of clerk
    commandership, commandery
    the position or office of commander
    comptrollership
    the position of comptroller
    consulship
    the post of consul
    controllership
    the position of controller
    councillorship, councilorship
    the position of council member
    counsellorship, counselorship
    the position of counselor
    curacy
    the position of a curate
    curatorship
    the position of curator
    custodianship
    the position of custodian
    deanery, deanship
    the position or office of a dean
    directorship
    the position of a director of a business concern
    discipleship
    the position of disciple
    editorship
    the position of editor
    eldership
    the office of elder
    emirate
    the office of an emir
    fatherhood
    the status of a father
    fatherhood
    the status of a religious leader
    foremanship
    the position of foreman
    generalcy, generalship
    the office and authority of a general
    governorship
    the office of governor
    headship
    the position of head
    headship
    the position of headmaster or headmistress
    hot seat
    a difficult position where you are subjected to stress and criticism
    incumbency
    the office of an incumbent
    inspectorship
    the office of inspector
    instructorship
    the position of instructor
    internship
    the position of a medical intern
    judgeship, judicature
    the position of judge
    khanate
    the position of a khan
    lectureship
    the post of lecturer
    legateship, legation
    the post or office of legate
    legislatorship
    the office of legislator
    librarianship
    the position of librarian
    lieutenancy
    the position of a lieutenant
    magistracy, magistrature
    the position of magistrate
    managership
    the position of manager
    manhood
    the status of being a man
    marshalship
    the post of marshall
    mastership
    the position of master
    mayoralty
    the position of mayor
    messiahship
    the position of messiah
    moderatorship
    the position of moderator
    overlordship
    the position of overlord
    pastorate, pastorship
    the position of pastor
    peasanthood
    the state of being a peasant
    plum
    a highly desirable position or assignment
    praetorship
    the office of praetor
    precentorship
    the position of precentor
    preceptorship
    the position of preceptor
    prefecture
    the office of prefect
    prelacy, prelature
    the office or station of a prelate
    premiership
    the office of premier
    presidency, presidentship
    the office and function of president
    primateship
    the office of primate
    principalship
    the post of principal
    priorship
    the office of prior
    proconsulate, proconsulship
    the position of proconsul
    proctorship
    the position of proctor
    chair, professorship
    the position of professor
    protectorship
    the position of protector
    public office
    a position concerning the people as a whole
    rabbinate
    the office or function of a rabbi
    receivership
    the office of a receiver
    rectorate, rectorship
    the office or station of a rector
    regency
    the office of a regent
    residency
    the position of physician who is receiving special training in a hospital (usually after completing an internship)
    rulership
    the position of ruler
    sainthood
    the status and dignity of a saint
    secretaryship
    the position of secretary
    feudal lordship, seigneury, seigniory
    the position and authority of a feudal lord
    senatorship
    the office of senator
    sinecure
    an office that involves minimal duties
    solicitorship
    the position of solicitor
    speakership
    the position of Speaker
    stewardship
    the position of steward
    studentship
    the position of student
    teachership
    the position of teacher
    thaneship
    the position of thane
    throne
    the position and power of an exalted person (a sovereign or bishop) who is entitled to sit in a chair of state on ceremonial occasions
    treasurership
    the position of treasurer
    tribuneship
    the position of tribune
    trusteeship
    the position of trustee
    vice-presidency
    the office and function of a vice president
    viceroyship
    the position of viceroy
    viziership
    the position of vizier
    wardenship
    the position of warden
    wardership
    the position of warder
    womanhood
    the status of a woman
    headmastership
    the position of headmaster
    headmistressship
    the position of headmistress
    Chief Executive, President, President of the United States
    the office of the United States head of state
    bully pulpit
    a public office of sufficiently high rank that it provides the holder with an opportunity to speak out and be listened to on any matter
    Attorney General, Attorney General of the United States
    the position of the head of the Justice Department and the chief law enforcement officer of the United States
    Agriculture Secretary, Secretary of Agriculture
    the position of the head of the Department of Agriculture
    Commerce Secretary, Secretary of Commerce
    the position of the head of the Department of Commerce
    Defense Secretary, Secretary of Defense
    the position of the head of the Department of Defense
    Education Secretary, Secretary of Education
    the position of the head of the Education Department
    Energy Secretary, Secretary of Energy
    the position of the head of the Department of Energy
    Secretary of Health and Human Services
    the position of the head of the Department of Health and Human Services
    Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
    the position of the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Labor Secretary, Secretary of Labor
    the position of the head of the Department of Labor
    Secretary of State
    the position of the head of the State Department
    Interior Secretary, Secretary of the Interior
    the position of the head of the Department of the Interior
    Secretary of the Treasury, Treasury Secretary
    the position of the head of the Treasury Department
    Secretary of Transportation, Transportation Secretary
    the position of the head of the Department of Transportation
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs
    the position of the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs
    Secretary of War, War Secretary
    head of a former executive department; combined with the Navy Secretary to form the Defense Secretary in 1947
    Navy Secretary, Secretary of the Navy
    head of a former executive department; combined with the War Secretary to form the Defense Secretary in 1947
    Secretary of Commerce and Labor
    head of a former executive department created in 1903 and divided into two departments in 1913
    Secretary of Health Education and Welfare
    head of a former executive department created in 1953 and divided into two departments in 1979
    type of:
    business, job, line, line of work, occupation
    the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money
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