Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

situation - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] situation pronunciation in American English /ˌsɪtʃuˈeɪʃ(ə)n/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    the set of conditions that exist at a particular time in a particular place

    If the situation had been different, their plan might have succeeded.

    concern about the current situation south of the border

    as/if/when the situation arises (=when it happens):

    We’ll have to deal with overcrowding as the situation arises.

    an economic/political/employment situation:

    The country is facing a very difficult economic situation.

    social situation (=any event where you talk with or meet a lot of people):

    Social situations always make me nervous.

    someone’s situation (=the conditions that affect their life at a particular time):

    What prospects are there for a person in his situation?

  2. 3
    formal the kind of area that surrounds a place, used especially by people who sell houses or property. A more usual word is location

    The property has a magnificent situation in the mountains.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play