While reading the poem "Paradise Lost" by John Milton, I came across the usage of the word satst. Can anyone tell me what it means? I can gather what the other words imply, but for this one I needed some clarification.

[...] Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss [...]

Paradise Lost (London, 1674)

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    Please provide the context in which it is being used. Sep 12, 2012 at 8:48
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    I agree with @coleopterist – you should at least give us a modest excerpt, so that we don't all have to go looking for the poem, and then through the poem, just to help you out. Also, while you're editing your question, please use proper capitilization for "i", and for the poet's name as well.
    – J.R.
    Sep 12, 2012 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


It is an archaic formal second person past tense of "to sit," and should not be used in current English.

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    +1 It becomes clearer when printed as sat'st. Sep 12, 2012 at 9:26
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    @BarrieEngland: well, your version reminds me of Cthulhu. :) Sep 12, 2012 at 11:54
  • Is the 'st ending formal or familiar? My memory is telling me thee / thou (as in "thou satst on a tuffet") is familiar while you is formal.
    – The Photon
    Sep 12, 2012 at 16:56

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