Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A short rod or shaft on which a related part rotates or swings.
  • n. A person or thing on which something depends or turns; the central or crucial factor.
  • n. The act of turning on or as if on a pivot.
  • n. Basketball A position taken by an offensive player usually facing away from the basket near the foul line to relay passes, attempt a shot, or set screens.
  • n. Basketball The stationary foot around which the ball handler is allowed to pivot without dribbling.
  • transitive v. To mount on, attach by, or provide with a pivot or pivots.
  • transitive v. To cause to rotate, revolve, or turn.
  • intransitive v. To turn on or as if on a pivot: "The plot . . . lacks direction, pivoting on Hamlet's incertitude” ( G. Wilson Knight).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A thing on which something turns; specifically a metal pointed pin or short shaft in machinery, such as the end of an axle or spindle.
  • n. Something or someone having a paramount significance in a certain situation.
  • n. Act of turning on one foot.
  • n. A player in with responsibility for co-ordinating their team in a particular jam.
  • v. To turn on an exact spot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fixed pin or short axis, on the end of which a wheel or other body turns.
  • n. The end of a shaft or arbor which rests and turns in a support.
  • n. Hence, figuratively: A turning point or condition; that on which important results depend.
  • n. The officer or soldier who simply turns in his place whike the company or line moves around him in wheeling; -- called also pivot man.
  • transitive v. To place on a pivot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To place on a pivot; furnish with a pivot.
  • To turn or swing on a pivot, or as on a pivot: hinge.
  • n. A pin on which a wheel or other object turns.
  • n. Milit., the officer or soldier upon whom a line of troops wheels.
  • n. Figuratively, that on which some matter or result hinges or depends; a turning-point.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of turning on (or as if on) a pivot
  • n. the person in a rank around whom the others wheel and maneuver
  • n. axis consisting of a short shaft that supports something that turns
  • v. turn on a pivot

Etymologies

French, from Old French.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French pivot, probably connected with Italian pivolo, "peg, pin", diminutive of piva, pipa, "pipe". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Morrissey also notes that this is the second time official white house communications have used the term pivot

    Elections - fresh news by plazoo.com

  • The word "pivot" is often batted around in Silicon Valley circles to indicate a change in direction or business model for a company.

    Michele Colucci: Know Thy Customer

  • He spoke with pride of accomplishing what he called a "pivot" from the policies of George W. Bush.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Krall noted that against other currencies, the long-term pivot levels at R7. 50 versus the euro and R11. 00 versus the pound will be critical in determining future direction.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • "I will tell you how it happened to-night," answered the draper, and as he spoke he turned round, not his long left ear upon the pivot of his skull, but his whole person upon the pivot of the counter -- to misuse the word pivot with Wordsworth -- and bolted the shop-door.

    Thomas Wingfold, Curate V2

  • First taking a point of comparison called pivot, which is an element on the group, and then categorizing the items in comparison to that pivot.

    EzineArticles

  • On the other hand, the trend dampening effects of low liquidity conditions can help to bolster the presence of the long-term pivot (showing influence back in the 4Q of last year), the 100-day moving average and notable 38.2 percent Fib retracement of the July-October bear wave all congregating at 2.07.

    Currency Trading News by DailyFX

  • The Gold market seems to have a long term pivot price of $700 dollars.

    Safehaven

  • The Natural Gas market seems to have a long term pivot low price of just above the $2 dollar area.

    Safehaven

  • So what we’ve got on the front page is sort of an image of what we call a pivot table.

    Introducing Media Cloud: A new tool to track how news gets covered » Nieman Journalism Lab

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  • “The skater wearing the star on her helmet is the jammer. The skater wearing the stripe on her helmet is called the PIVOT. The pivot is the pack leader and defensive play caller, similar to football's middle linebacker position.�?

    Gotham Girls Roller Derby

    August 23, 2009

  • on Friends: Ross is trying to get a big couch up tiny stairs: "PIVOT! PIVOT!"

    February 23, 2007