Definition of pivot in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpɪvət/


1The central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates.
Example sentences
  • The insert requires minimal preventive-maintenance grease at its pivot points and axles.
  • By rotating the dial, the pivot point or the fulcrum of the brake lever moves in and out.
  • You will see in this drawing there is a pivot and lug mechanism.
central shaft, fulcrum, axis, axle, swivel, pin, hub, spindle, hinge, pintle, kingpin, gudgeon, trunnion
1.1 [usually in singular] A person or thing that plays a central part in a situation or enterprise: the pivot of community life was the chapel
More example sentences
  • No - she had been the pivot of it all, the centre, the core.
  • Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, was a crucial pivot of U.S. policy from the 1970s forward.
  • For the U.S., Okinawa is the pivot of its East Asian military presence.
centre, focal point, focus, central point, hub, heart, nucleus, raison d'être, crux, keystone, cornerstone, linchpin, kingpin
1.2The person or position from which a body of troops takes its reference point when moving or changing course.
1.3 (also pivotman) chiefly North American A player in a central position in a team sport.
Example sentences
  • If Wallace is frequently overpowered by some of the league's more gargantuan pivotmen, guarding Jermaine O'Neal is Big Ben's chance to push around someone else.
  • Until injuries abruptly curtailed his career, Willis Reed was a strong, mobile center who could handle brutes like Chamberlain as well as quicker pivotmen.
  • Among an ever-improving crop of pivotmen, Duncan is still the most dependable and fundamentally sound.
1.4 Basketball A movement in which the player holding the ball may move in any direction with one foot, while keeping the other (the pivot foot) in contact with the floor.
Example sentences
  • As the pivot player makes contact with the floor, he pivots toward the basket, holding the ball high over his head.
  • Put the ball down hard on the floor, before you pick up your pivot foot.
  • The rear foot becomes the pivot foot, so don't move it if you stop dribbling.

verb (pivots, pivoting, pivoted)

[no object]
1Turn on or as if on a pivot: he swung round, pivoting on his heel
More example sentences
  • He deliberately pivoted in his swivel chair, as if thinking.
  • They can be raised and lowered, rotated and pivoted for the optimal working angle along their 1,575-ft.
  • The teacher pivoted around on her heels and hatred contorted her expression.
rotate, turn, revolve, spin, swivel, twirl, whirl, wheel, oscillate
1.1 [with object] Provide (a mechanism) with a pivot; fix (a mechanism) on a pivot: (as adjective pivoted) a pivoted bracket
More example sentences
  • The fourth pushchair was bought a few weeks after the third pushchair after we realised that we'd bought the first one without checking the front wheels were pivoted.
  • The secret was that both sets of wheels are pivoted in the Fairlie principle.
  • When wall-mounted, an optional mounting bracket pivots the handgun out before the door drops down to present the holster-mounted firearm.
1.2 (pivot on) Depend on: the government’s reaction pivoted on the response of the Prime Minister
More example sentences
  • Unlike affordability, which mostly pivots on interest rates and household income, appreciation is influenced much more by supply and demand and represents the return on your investment.
  • This spectatorship, however - both Scottie's and the audience's - pivots on its dual nature: the act of looking is itself both active and passive at the same time.
  • It pivots on the mutual affirmation of each other as churches belonging to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.
depend, hinge, turn, centre, hang, rely, rest, be contingent;
revolve around



Pronunciation: /pɪvətəˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • For increasing the pivotability without weakening the chain, the front edge of the middle hinge part is maintained at full width.


Example sentences
  • The pivotable screen is tailor-made for showing other people what you've done while you sit at the keyboard.
  • A cutting apparatus having a pivotable blade holder includes a blade housing with an internal blade cavity with a blade opening to the outside of the housing.
  • This case has a top cover assembly, a bottom cover assembly, both of which are pivotable around a longitudinal axis forming a hinge assembly.


Late Middle English: from French, probably from the root of dialect pue 'tooth of a comb' and Spanish pu(y)a 'point'. The verb dates from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with pivot


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pivot

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.