Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The single central kernel or stone of certain fruits, such as a peach or cherry.
  • transitive verb To extract the pit from (a fruit).
  • noun A natural or artificial hole or cavity in the ground.
  • noun An excavation for the removal of mineral deposits; a mine.
  • noun The shaft of a mine.
  • noun A concealed hole in the ground used as a trap; a pitfall.
  • noun A small indentation in a surface.
  • noun A natural hollow or depression in the body or an organ.
  • noun A small indented scar left in the skin by smallpox or other eruptive disease; a pockmark.
  • noun Zoology Either of a pair of depressions between the nostril and the eye of a pit viper that contain heat-sensing organs.
  • noun Botany A cavity in the wall of a plant cell where there is no secondary wall, as in fibers, tracheids, and vessel elements.
  • noun Informal An armpit.
  • noun An enclosed, usually sunken area in which animals, such as dogs or gamecocks, are placed for fighting.
  • noun The section directly in front of and below the stage of a theater, in which the musicians sit.
  • noun Chiefly British The ground floor of a theater behind the stalls.
  • noun The section of an exchange where trading in a specific commodity is carried on.
  • noun The gambling area of a casino.
  • noun A sunken area in a garage floor from which mechanics may work on cars.
  • noun Sports An area beside an auto racecourse where cars may be refueled or serviced during a race.
  • noun Hell. Used with the.
  • noun A miserable or depressing place or situation.
  • noun Slang The worst. Used with the.
  • noun Football The middle areas of the defensive and offensive lines.
  • intransitive verb To mark with cavities, depressions, or scars.
  • intransitive verb To set in direct opposition or competition.
  • intransitive verb To place, bury, or store in a pit.
  • intransitive verb To become marked with pits.
  • intransitive verb To retain an impression after being indented. Used of the skin.
  • intransitive verb To stop at a refueling area during an auto race.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The stone of a fruit, as of a cherry or plum.
  • noun A cavity in the side of the head, between the eye and nostril, found in the poisonous snakes of the subfamily Crotalinæ, whence their name of pit-vipers. This pit is lined with membrane supplied with branches from the trigeminal nerve, but its exact function is not known. See cut under pit-viper
  • noun A hole or cavity in the ground, whether natural or made by digging.
  • noun Specifically
  • noun An excavation or hole in the ground, covered or otherwise concealed, for snaring wild beasts; a pitfall.
  • noun A hole dug in the soil of a potato-or turnip-field, for storing potatoes, etc., during the winter. The vegetables stored are usually piled up to some height and covered with earth to keep out the frost.
  • noun In horticulture, an excavation in the soil, generally covered by a glazed frame, for protecting tender plants, or for propagation.
  • noun In founding, a cavity scooped in the floor to receive cast-metal.
  • noun The shaft of a coal-mine, or the mine itself.
  • noun A vat, such as is used in tanning, bleaching, dyeing, etc.
  • noun A cavity or depression in the body: as, the pit of the stomach; the armpits.
  • noun A very small depression or dent, such as that left on the flesh by a pustule of the small-pox; a dimple.
  • noun In botany, one of the pores or thin places in the more or less lignified cell-walls of many plants.
  • noun A hollow or cup.
  • noun A deep place; a gulf; an abyss.

Etymologies

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

[Dutch, from Middle Dutch.]

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

[Middle English, from Old English pytt, ultimately from Latin puteus, well; see pau- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dutch pit ("kernel, core"), from Middle Dutch pitte, from Proto-Germanic *pittan (compare Middle Franconian Pfitze ("pimple")), oblique of *piþō. Compare pith.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English pytt ("pit, hole in the ground, well, grave, pustule, pockmark"), from Proto-Germanic *putjaz (“pit, well”), from Latin puteus ("trench, pit, well"), from Proto-Indo-European *pewǝ- (“to beat, hew”). Cognate with West Frisian pet ("pit"), Eastern Frisian put ("pit"), Dutch put ("well, pockmark"), German Pfütze ("puddle, pool"), Danish pyt ("pit"), Icelandic pytt ("pit").

Examples

  • The boxes and other parts of the house were crammed, with the exception of the pit, which looked beggarly; on which an actor observed to a brother of the sock, "We've no _pit_ to-night."

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 10, No. 266, July 28, 1827

  • Outside of what we term pit and dress circle is a partition, three or four feet high, dividing them from a promenade ten or fifteen feet wide.

    Shadow and Light An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century

  • Moreover, the term pit bull isn't really a breed at all.

    Reason Magazine

  • Moreover, the term pit bull isn't really a breed at all.

    Reason Magazine - Hit & Run

  • Barber told the AJC that his intention was to let the East Point attorney know people were talking about her behind her back, and the term pit bull was meant as a complimentary description of the way she did her job.

    Macon Telegraph: Homepage

  • Soon it becomes clear that the task of digging the pit is unending — almost by definition, since it must accommodate the whole (no pun intended) of the future: the pit is a inverted tower of

    A Different Stripe:

  • Soon it becomes clear that the task of digging the pit is unending — almost by definition, since it must accommodate the whole (no pun intended) of the future: the pit is a inverted tower of

    Translation

  • Soon it becomes clear that the task of digging the pit is unending — almost by definition, since it must accommodate the whole (no pun intended) of the future: the pit is a inverted tower of

    Deals

  • Dozens of groups such as The Truth About Pit Bulls counter what they call pit bull propagandists with harrowing tales and examples of brutality.

    Pulling pit bulls' image out of the pits

  • Soon it becomes clear that the task of digging the pit is unending — almost by definition, since it must accommodate the whole (no pun intended) of the future: the pit is a inverted tower of

    From the editor

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Tip in reverse.

    November 3, 2007

  • "The case of Dutch schoolgirl Laura Dekker, 13, who wants to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, has become a national talking point in the Netherlands and pitted child services officials against enthusiasts of open-minded parenting."

    - Karla Adam, Teen's quest for record divides Dutch, theage.com.au, 31 August 2009.

    August 31, 2009