adjective, fit·ter, fit·test.
- adapted or suited; appropriate: This water isn’t fit for drinking. A long-necked giraffe is fit for browsing treetops.
- proper or becoming: fit behavior.
- qualified or competent, as for an office or function: a fit candidate.
- prepared or ready: crops fit for gathering.
- in good physical condition; in good health: He’s fit for the race.
- being adapted to the prevailing conditions and producing offspring that survive to reproductive age.
- contributing genetic information to the gene pool of the next generation.
- (of a population) maintaining or increasing the group’s numbers in the environment.
verb (used with object), fit·ted or fit, fit·ting.
- to be adapted to or suitable for (a purpose, object, occasion, etc.).
- to be proper or becoming for.
- to be of the right size or shape for: The dress fitted her perfectly.
- to adjust or make conform: to fit a ring to the finger.
- to make qualified or competent: qualities that fit one for leadership.
- to prepare: This school fits students for college.
- to put with precise placement or adjustment: He fitted the picture into the frame.
- to provide; furnish; equip: to fit a door with a new handle.
verb (used without object), fit·ted or fit, fit·ting.
- to be suitable or proper.
- to be of the right size or shape, as a garment for the wearer or any object or part for a thing to which it is applied: The shoes fit.
- the manner in which a thing fits: The fit was perfect.
- something that fits: The coat is a poor fit.
- the process of fitting.
- fit out/up, to furnish with supplies, equipment, clothing, furniture, or other requisites; supply; equip: to fit out an expedition.
- fit to be tied, Informal. extremely annoyed or angry: He was fit to be tied when I told him I’d wrecked the car.
- fit to kill, Informal. to the limit; exceedingly: She was dressed up fit to kill.
verb fits, fitting or fitted or US fit
- to be appropriate or suitable for (a situation, etc)
- to be of the correct size or shape for (a connection, container, etc)
- (tr) to adjust in order to render appropriatethey had to fit the idea to their philosophy
- (tr) to supply with that which is needed
- (tr) to try clothes on (someone) in order to make adjustments if necessary
- (tr) to make competent or readythe experience helped to fit him for the task
- (tr) to locate with care
- (intr) to correspond with the facts or circumstances
adjective fitter or fittest
- suitable to a purpose or design; appropriate
- having the right qualifications; qualifying
- in good health
- worthy or deservinga book fit to be read
- (foll by an infinitive) in such an extreme condition that a specified consequence is likelyshe was fit to scream; you look fit to drop
- mainly British informal (of a person) sexually attractive
- the manner in which something fits
- the act or process of fitting
- statistics the correspondence between observed and predicted characteristics of a distribution or modelSee goodness of fit
- pathol a sudden attack or convulsion, such as an epileptic seizure
- a sudden spell of emotiona fit of anger
- an impulsive period of activity or lack of activity; mooda fit of laziness
- give a person a fit to surprise a person in an outrageous manner
- have a fit or throw a fit informal to become very angry or excited
- in fits and starts or by fits and starts in spasmodic spells; irregularly
verb fits, fitting or fitted
- (intr) informal to have a sudden attack or convulsion, such as an epileptic seizure
- archaic a story or song or a section of a story or song
“be suitable,” probably from early 15c.; “to be the right shape,” 1580s, from fit (adj.). Related: Fitted; fitting. Fitted sheets is attested from 1963.
part of a poem, Old English fitt, of unknown origin.
1823, “the fitting of one thing to another,” later (1831) “the way something fits.” Originally “an adversary of equal power” (mid-13c.), obscure, possibly from Old English fitt “a conflict, a struggle” (see fit (n.2)).
“paroxysm, sudden attack” (as of anger), 1540s, probably via Middle English sense of “painful, exciting experience” (early 14c.), from Old English fitt “conflict, struggle,” of uncertain origin, with no clear cognates outside English. Perhaps ultimately cognate with fit (n.1) on notion of “to meet.” Phrase by fits and starts first attested 1610s.
“suited to the circumstances, proper,” mid-15c., of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle English noun fit “an adversary of equal power” (mid-13c.), which is perhaps connected to fit (n.1). Related: Fitter; fittest. Survival of the fittest (1867) coined by H. Spencer.
Furious, enraged, as in I’ve been waiting for two hours and am fit to be tied. This expression implies anger so extreme that it requires physical restraint. [Late 1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with fit
- fit as a fiddle
- fit in
- fit like a glove
- fit out
- fits and starts, by
- fit to be tied
- fit to kill
- give someone fits
- have a fit
- if the shoe fits
- see fit to
- survival of the fittest