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"hole, cavity," Old English pytt "water hole, well; pit, grave," from West Germanic *puttjaz "pool, puddle" (cf. Old Frisian pet, Old Saxon putti, Old Norse pyttr, Middle Dutch putte, Dutch put, Old High German pfuzza, German Pfütze "pool, puddle"), early borrowing from Latin puteus "well, pit, shaft." Meaning "abode of evil spirits, hell" is attested from early 13c. Pit of the stomach (1650s) is from the slight depression there between the ribs.
"hard seed," 1841, from Dutch pit "kernel, seed, marrow," from Middle Dutch pitte, ultimately from West Germanic *pithan-, source of pith (q.v.).
mid-15c., "to put into a pit," from pit (n.1); especially for purposes of fighting (of cocks, dogs, pugilists) from 1760. Figurative sense of "to set in rivalry" is from 1754. Meaning "to make pits in" is from late 15c. Related: Pitted; pitting. Cf. Pit-bull as a dog breed attested from 1922, short for pit-bull terrier (by 1912). This also is the notion behind the meaning "the part of a theater on the floor of the house" (1640s).
A natural hollow or depression in the body or an organ.
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.
To mark with cavities, depressions, or scars.
To retain an impression after being indented. Used of the skin.
The most loathsome place or situation imaginable: The Soviet ''government is the pits''
[1953+; fr armpits]
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).