pit-fall

pitfall

[pit-fawl]
noun
1.
a lightly covered and unnoticeable pit prepared as a trap for people or animals.
2.
any trap or danger for the unwary: the pitfall of excessive pride.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English pittefalle, equivalent to pitte pit1 + falle (Old English fealle) trap


1, 2. See trap1.
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World English Dictionary
pitfall (ˈpɪtˌfɔːl)
 
n
1.  an unsuspected difficulty or danger
2.  a trap in the form of a concealed pit, designed to catch men or wild animals
 
[Old English pyttpit1 + fealle trap]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pitfall
c.1300, a type of animal trap, from pit (1) + fall (v.). Extended sense of "any hidden danger" is first recorded 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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