1 [pit-id]

before 1050; Old English pytted (not found in ME); see pit1, -ed3

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2 [pit-id]
(of fruit) having the pit removed: a pitted olive.

pit2 + -ed2


1 [pit]
a naturally formed or excavated hole or cavity in the ground: pits caused by erosion; clay pits.
a covered or concealed excavation in the ground, serving as a trap.
an excavation made in exploring for or removing a mineral deposit, as by open-cut methods.
the shaft of a coal mine.
the mine itself.
the abode of evil spirits and lost souls; hell: an evil inspiration from the pit.
the pits, Slang. an extremely unpleasant, boring, or depressing place, condition, person, etc.; the absolute worst: When you're alone, Christmas is the pits.
a hollow or indentation in a surface: glass flawed by pits.
a natural hollow or depression in the body: the pit of the back.
pits, Informal. the armpits: up to my pits in work.
a small, depressed scar, as one of those left on the skin after smallpox or chicken pox.
an enclosure, usually below the level of the spectators, as for staging fights between dogs, cocks, or, formerly, bears.
(in a commodity exchange) a part of the floor of the exchange where trading in a particular commodity takes place: the corn pit.
all that part of the main floor of a theater behind the musicians.
British. the main floor of a theater behind the stalls.
orchestra ( def 2a ).
(in a hoistway) a space below the level of the lowest floor served.
Auto Racing. an area at the side of a track, for servicing and refueling the cars.
Bowling. the sunken area of a bowling alley behind the pins, for the placement or recovery of pins that have been knocked down.
Track. the area forward of the takeoff point in a jumping event, as the broad jump or pole vault, that is filled with sawdust or soft earth to lessen the force of the jumper's landing.
the area or room of a casino containing gambling tables.
verb (used with object), pitted, pitting.
to mark or indent with pits or depressions: ground pitted by erosion.
to scar with pockmarks: His forehead was pitted by chicken pox.
to place or bury in a pit, as for storage.
to set in opposition or combat, as one against another.
to put (animals) in a pit or enclosure for fighting.
verb (used without object), pitted, pitting.
to become marked with pits or depressions.
(of body tissue) to retain temporarily a mark of pressure, as by a finger, instrument, etc.

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English pytt < Latin puteus well, pit, shaft; (v.) derivative of the noun

21. match, oppose.


2 [pit] Chiefly Northern U.S.
the stone of a fruit, as of a cherry, peach, or plum.
verb (used with object), pitted, pitting.
to remove the pit from (a fruit or fruits): to pit cherries for a pie.

1835–45, Americanism; < Dutch: kernel; cognate with pith

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pit1 (pɪt)
1.  a large, usually deep opening in the ground
2.  a.  a mine or excavation with a shaft, esp for coal
 b.  the shaft in a mine
 c.  (as modifier): pit pony; pit prop
3.  a concealed danger or difficulty
4.  the pit hell
5.  Also called: orchestra pit the area that is occupied by the orchestra in a theatre, located in front of the stage
6.  an enclosure for fighting animals or birds, esp gamecocks
7.  anatomy
 a.  a small natural depression on the surface of a body, organ, structure, or part; fossa
 b.  the floor of any natural bodily cavity: the pit of the stomach
8.  pathol a small indented scar at the site of a former pustule; pockmark
9.  any of various small areas in a plant cell wall that remain unthickened when the rest of the cell becomes lignified, esp the vascular tissue
10.  a working area at the side of a motor-racing track for servicing or refuelling vehicles
11.  a section on the floor of a commodity exchange devoted to a special line of trading
12.  a rowdy card game in which players bid for commodities
13.  an area of sand or other soft material at the end of a long-jump approach, behind the bar of a pole vault, etc, on which an athlete may land safely
14.  the ground floor of the auditorium of a theatre
15.  (Brit) bed a slang word for bedroom
16.  another word for pitfall
vb (often foll by against) , pits, pitting, pitted
17.  to match in opposition, esp as antagonists
18.  to mark or become marked with pits
19.  (tr) to place or bury in a pit
[Old English pytt, from Latin puteus; compare Old French pet, Old High German pfuzzi]

pit2 (pɪt)
1.  the stone of a cherry, plum, etc
vb , pits, pitting, pitted
2.  (tr) to extract the stone from (a fruit)
[C19: from Dutch: kernel; compare pith]

pit3 (pɪt)
a Scot word for put

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"hole," O.E. pytt "water hole, pit," from W.Gmc. *puttjaz "pool, puddle" (cf. O.E. putti, O.N. pyttr, Du. put, Ger. Pfütze), early borrowing from L. puteus "well, pit, shaft." Meaning "abode of evil spirits, hell" is attested from early 13c. The verb meaning "set against, oppose," is first recorded
1760, from the pit (1560s) where cock fights and dog fights were held (cf. Pit-bull terrier first recorded 1945). This is also the notion behind the meaning "the part of a theater on the floor of the house" (1640s). Pit of the stomach (1650s) is from the slight depression there between the ribs. Pits "the worst," first attested 1953, U.S. slang, said to be a shortened form of armpits.

"hard seed," 1841, from Du. pit "kernel, seed, marrow," from M.Du. pitte, ult. from W.Gmc. *pithan-, source of Eng. pith (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pit (pĭt)

  1. A natural hollow or depression in the body or an organ.

  2. A pockmark.

  3. A sharp-pointed depression in the enamel surface of a tooth, caused by faulty or incomplete calcification or formed by the confluent point of two or more lobes of enamel.

v. pit·ted, pit·ting, pits
  1. To mark with cavities, depressions, or scars.

  2. To retain an impression after being indented. Used of the skin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
pit   (pĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
The hard, inner layer (the endocarp) of certain drupes that are valued for their flesh, such as peaches, cherries, or olives. Not in scientific use.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. Greater Pittsburgh International Airport

  2. Pittsburgh Pirates

  3. Pittsburgh Steelers

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Pit definition

a hole in the ground (Ex. 21:33, 34), a cistern for water (Gen. 37:24; Jer. 14:3), a vault (41:9), a grave (Ps. 30:3). It is used as a figure for mischief (Ps. 9:15), and is the name given to the unseen place of woe (Rev. 20:1, 3). The slime-pits in the vale of Siddim were wells which yielded asphalt (Gen. 14:10).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Feel free to use boysenberries, pitted cherries, or other favorites instead of
  the combination of fruits here.
Pitted against this relentless push is the gravitational pull from the rest of
  the matter and energy in the universe.
The area is filled with cooled lava flows pitted by meteorite impacts.
At the time contests were held that pitted two hokku against each other, with a
  judge declaring the winner.
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