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pit against

Set in direct opposition or competition, as in The civil war pitted brother against brother. This idiom alludes to setting fighting cocks or dogs against one another in a pit. [ Mid-1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • You are alone then with nothing but your own feeble personality to pit against the mighty principalities and powers of darkness.

    Rainbow Valley Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • He had speed, wind, and nerve to pit against a young mountain of muscle.

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
  • For a shower of sand is being thrown up from the bottom of the pit against the ant and it is again sliding down.

    Insect Stories Vernon L. Kellogg
  • The Federal authorities were looking for a man of the hour—one whom they might pit against the able and strategic Early.

    The Civil War Through the Camera Henry W. (Henry William) Elson
  • He might have stood for one of those northern barbarians whom the Romans loved to pit against their native champions in the arena.

    Riders of the Silences John Frederick
  • Men with kegs of water, men with pieces of carpet, men with nothing but their hands and their fear to pit against the fire.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • But stop, let me not fall into the pit against which I was about to warn others.

    Anima Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Stanley began to think his civilized wonders were too tame to pit against those of the African king.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
  • So if at the worst it is inanimate then anyhow we have our poor wills and our poor wits to pit against it.

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