a pin, point, or short shaft on the end of which something rests and turns, or upon and about which something rotates or oscillates.
the end of a shaft or arbor, resting and turning in a bearing.
any thing or person on which something or someone functions or depends vitally: He is the pivot of my life.
the person in a line, as of troops on parade, whom the others use as a point about which to wheel or maneuver.
a whirling about on one foot.
Basketball. the act of keeping one foot in place while holding the ball and moving the other foot one step in any direction, so as not to be charged with walking.
an offensive position in the front court, usually played by the center, in which the player stands facing away from the offensive basket and serves as the pivot of the offense by setting up plays through passing, making screens, and taking shots.
Also called pivotman. the player who plays in the pivot position.
Dentistry. (formerly) dowel ( def 4 ).
verb (used without object)
to turn on or as on a pivot.
Basketball. to keep one foot in place while holding the ball and moving the other foot one step in any direction.
verb (used with object)
to mount on, attach by, or provide with a pivot or pivots.

1605–15; < French pivot (noun), pivoter (v.), Old French < ?

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pivot (ˈpɪvət)
1.  a short shaft or pin supporting something that turns; fulcrum
2.  the end of a shaft or arbor that terminates in a bearing
3.  a person or thing upon which progress, success, etc, depends
4.  the person or position from which a military formation takes its reference, as when altering position
5.  (tr) to mount on or provide with a pivot or pivots
6.  (intr) to turn on or as if on a pivot
[C17: from Old French; perhaps related to Old Provençal pua tooth of a comb]

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

1610s, from Fr., from O.Fr. pivot "hinge, pivot" (12c.), of uncertain origin. The verb is 1841, from the noun. Figurative sense of "central point" is recorded from 1813.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Most drastically, a switch to center pivot irrigation shows up as bright red
One such application is reporting center-pivot and lateral-move field position.
Accurate knowledge of center-pivot or lateral-move position in real time is
  critical for site-specific irrigation.
If the lift rod still operates stiffly, adjust the pivot rod.
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