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[pich-fawrk] /ˈpɪtʃˌfɔrk/
a large, long-handled fork for manually lifting and pitching hay, stalks of grain, etc.
pitchforks, Northern U.S. beggar's-lice, especially the achenes of Spanish needles.
verb (used with object)
to pitch or throw with or as if with a pitchfork.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; see pitch1, fork Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pitchfork
  • She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on with a pitchfork.
  • She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on her with a pitchfork.
  • Neither blows from pitchfork, nor from the lash, can make him change his ways.
  • Use a spading fork or pitchfork to thoroughly mix the ingredients and aerate the pile.
  • Aerate by turning the material every few weeks or so with a pitchfork.
  • Here are three ideas-one to skewer on each tine of a pitchfork-that might qualify as fiendish food, be it in name or in execution.
  • One tried to stab the warden of a mental hospital with a pitchfork.
  • Keep your compost pile properly aerated by turning it over with a pitchfork or other yard implement.
  • Every few weeks, turn the pile with a rake or pitchfork to circulate the air and moisture.
  • Every few days, you turn the material with a pitchfork.
British Dictionary definitions for pitchfork


a long-handled fork with two or three long curved tines for lifting, turning, or tossing hay
verb (transitive)
to use a pitchfork on (something)
to thrust (someone) unwillingly into a position
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pitchfork

mid-14c., altered (by influence of pichen "to throw, thrust;" see pitch (v.1)) from Middle English pic-forken (c.1200), from pik (see pike (n.4)) + fork (n.). The verb is attested from 1837.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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