There are 2 definitions of pit in English:

pit1

Syllabification: pit

noun

  • 1A large hole in the ground.
    More example sentences
    • I do not see any risk of these pits becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
    • First he put a bunch of stones in a big fire, then he put the stones in a pit dug in the ground, put stones over the top, and covered it with moss, sticks and sand.
    • Others excavated rifle pits where the ground was soft enough for digging.
    Synonyms
    hole, ditch, trench, trough, hollow, excavation, cavity, crater, pothole; shaft, mineshaft, sump
  • 1.1A large deep hole from which stones or minerals are dug.
    More example sentences
    • A wetlands conservation project in old quarries and gravel pits in North Yorkshire has won a national award.
    • Stone from this pit was a deep, rich chocolate brown and was certainly the most popular stone with both the contractor and the public.
    • As quarrying expanded, five pits were eventually opened.
  • 1.2A coal mine.
    More example sentences
    • By this time next year there will only be seven deep coal mining pits left in this country.
    • Slag heaps from dozens of coal pits dot the countryside.
    • We also had a mining industry until the pit closures.
    Synonyms
  • 1.3A sunken enclosure in which certain animals are kept in captivity.
    More example sentences
    • The closer she got, the more she felt like she was entering the snake pit.
    • it is a very bad idea to try and climb into the lion pit at the zoo.
    • A young man accidentally falls into a tiger pit at the zoo and finds himself face to face with a hungry tiger.
  • 1.4 short for orchestra pit (see orchestra).
    More example sentences
    • I covered the whole of the width of the stage in front of the curtains and also filled the pits.
    • The show goes ahead come rain or shine, the fourth wall is constantly broken and those in the pit are almost on-stage.
    • However, both covered and uncovered pits can colour an orchestra's sound, and the usually cramped space forces the players into awkward positions.
  • 1.5A sunken area in a workshop floor allowing access to a car’s underside.
    More example sentences
    • He told how he had spent many years on the workshop floor, often in the pit, as this was the time before rafts and lifts.
    • Some autos are held upright in pits five feet deep, trunk end down.
    • One of the staff comes out into the carpark, without putting the car over the pit.
  • 1.6A low or wretched psychological state: spiraling downward into the pit of despair
    More example sentences
    • Let her know that she doesn't have to fight her way out of the black pit of sadness by herself.
    • He would have slowly made his way back into his dark pit of depression and left everybody behind.
    • What they really seek to know is, how do they find someone who can actually exert some traction to help pull them out of the pit of depression.
  • 1.7 (the pit) • literary Hell.
    More example sentences
    • God only knows how many lost souls they've saved from the fiery pit of damnation.
    • This had been God's great mistake, he reflected, banishing him to the deepest pits of the world below: he had given him his own world to play with.
    • If we do it with both eyes on ourselves, the devil will cast us into the deepest of pits.
  • 2An area reserved or enclosed for a specific activity, in particular.
  • 2.1 (usually pits) An area at the side of a track where race cars are serviced and refueled.
    More example sentences
    • People walking through the pits often stop to check out the cars because they don't all look the same.
    • My crew did a great job getting me back out there, and I'm happy that we were able to finish the race on the track and not in the pits.
    • She rejoined the track but was forced back to the pits as the problem remained.
  • 2.2A part of the floor of an exchange in which a particular stock or commodity is traded, typically by open outcry.
    More example sentences
    • Although no one expects the euro to collapse, the debate is contributing to an uncertain atmosphere in foreign-exchange trading pits.
    • Most traders trade in a pit, sitting almost on top of each other where everyone can be seen and heard and all calls traced and deals marked.
    • Even now, many traders make electronic trades on handheld devices when they're in the pits.
  • 2.3chiefly • historical An enclosure in which animals are made to fight.
    More example sentences
    • I heal the animals that fight in the pit… so long as there's enough left to heal.
    • This rough, loose, prickly coat allowed the Shar-Pei to wriggle out of its opponent's grasp while fighting in the dog pits.
    • In such contests, according to law-enforcement officials, two dogs are placed in a pit or similar area enclosed with plywood walls.
  • 3A hollow or indentation in a surface.
    More example sentences
    • The outer surface has pits, grooves, and perforations that represent traces of vascular structures.
    • Some contain rounded surface pits, and show other irregularities, and grains intermediate between the two groups are present.
    • The diminutive monkey in front of me puts a hard palm nut, the size of its fist, into one of the many small pits on the rock surface.
  • 3.1A small indentation left on the skin after smallpox, acne, or other diseases; a pockmark.
    More example sentences
    • Dents or pits in the skin can easily become filled with bits of skin and hair, and infected with bacteria.
    • Sometimes, popping a pimple will cause a brown or red scar to form that could last months; and scars, in the form of dents and pits, can last forever.
    • I have many acne pits of varying sizes on my face.
    Synonyms

verb (pits, pitting, pitted)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1 (pit someone/something against) Set someone or something in conflict or competition with: a chance to pit herself against him
    More example sentences
    • The competition, which will pit American gymnasts against gymnasts from Russia, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Canada, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico, is being held in the Arrowhead Pond.
    • The chance to pit your wits against the best players in the country, in the most sumptuous and atmospheric of football arenas, just doesn't get any better for a professional footballer.
    • He seems keen on conflict, pitting the countryside against the city.
  • 1.1 historical Set an animal to fight against (another animal) for sport.
    [because formerly set against each other in a 'pit' or enclosure]
    More example sentences
    • The Romans are famous for their wild beast shows in the public arenas, where animals were pitted against one another for entertainment.
    • Ancient Romans pitted dogs against each other in gladiatorial contests.
    • When animals were pitted against each other, the Romans often tied them together with a chain to make sure that they would fight.
  • 2Make a hollow or indentation in the surface of: rain poured down, pitting the bare earth
    More example sentences
    • The tip of the stick is often driven into the cloth with force, weakening the structure of the weave, and pitting the playing surface.
    • The dirty, white stone front of the shop, which stocked boxes of beer cans, was pitted with bullet holes, while a car and lorry parked in the protected courtyard outside were badly damaged in the attack.
    • Much her chagrin she saw that through the ravages of time it was pitted with holes, some small others rather large.
    Synonyms
    make holes in, make hollows in, dent, indent
  • 2.1 [no object] Sink in or contract so as to form a pit or hollow.
    More example sentences
    • The skin becomes swollen and puffy, and pits on being pressed.
    • My skin pits when pressed.
    • It is distinguished from other swellings by pitting under pressure.
  • 3 [no object] Drive a race car into the pits for fuel or maintenance.
    More example sentences
    • He began to pick up the pace and managed to climb to 6th during the first hour before pitting for fuel and fresh tyres.
    • He took the lead briefly before pitting for fuel at the end of the race.
    • However, they elected not to pit for fuel during an early caution period, and that cost them time against their rivals.

Phrases

be the pits

informal Be extremely bad or the worst of its kind.
More example sentences
  • Mr Beeston said the prices of broccoli and cauliflower were the pits.
  • The training was held in Pyrmont, meaning that parking was the pits.
  • This is hard work and it's frustrating, because losing is the pits.
Synonyms
hell, the worst, the lowest of the low, a nightmare; rock-bottom, extremely bad, awful, terrible, dreadful, deplorable
informal appalling, lousy, abysmal

the pit of one's (or the) stomach

An ill-defined region of the lower abdomen regarded as the seat of strong feelings, especially anxiety.
More example sentences
  • Why was the nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach so strong he felt nauseous?
  • He has been well trained for it but you do get a fear in the pit of your stomach when you think about what could happen to him.
  • I am not being patronising, far from it, because I know exactly what their fans must be enduring and it leaves a terrible emptiness at the pit of your stomach.

Origin

Old English pytt; related to Dutch put and German Pfütze, based on Latin puteus 'well, shaft'.

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Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
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a powerful whirlpool in the sea

There are 2 definitions of pit in English:

pit2

Syllabification: pit
chiefly North American

noun

verb (pits, pitting, pitted)

[with object] Back to top  
  • Remove the pit from (fruit).
    More example sentences
    • Leave some cherries whole so people can see later on how hard you worked pitting real cherries.
    • If you're pitting cherries, do it inside a Ziploc bag.
    • I cut the cherries in half and pitted them.

Origin

mid 19th century: apparently from Dutch; related to pith.

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