- 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.
- 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.
- 1.3A 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 despairMore 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.
- 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.
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 himMore 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 earthMore example sentences
make holes in, make hollows in, dent, indent
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Old English pytt; related to Dutch put and German Pfütze, based on Latin puteus 'well, shaft'.
chiefly North American
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.
mid 19th century: apparently from Dutch; related to pith.