Other forms: pits; pitted; pitting

A pit is a hole in the ground, like the one in Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” that the narrator tries not to fall into. A pit can also be smaller indentation. There’s also a pit hiding inside a peach.

Pit is a word with a wide variety of meanings. There's the pit you dig on the beach as a moat for your sandcastle, and the pit a hunter digs for trapping an animal. Then there's the sunken area of a performance hall where musicians play, an orchestra pit, and the area that's reserved for certain activity, like the trading pit at a stock exchange. Finally, a pit is also a large, hard seed — like a peach pit.

Definitions of pit
  1. noun
    a sizeable hole (usually in the ground)
    “they dug a pit to bury the body”
    synonyms: cavity
    see moresee less
    show 9 types...
    hide 9 types...
    a sloping pit with a stake in the middle used as an obstacle to the enemy
    barbecue pit
    a pit where wood or charcoal is burned to make a bed of hot coals suitable for barbecuing meat
    borrow pit
    a pit created to provide earth that can be used as fill at another site
    (golf) the cavity left when a piece of turf is cut from the ground by the club head in making a stroke
    fire pit
    a pit whose floor is incandescent lava
    a pit filled with loose wet sand into which objects are sucked down
    a large pit in sandy ground from which sand is dug
    a pit over which lumber is positioned to be sawed by two men with a long two-handed saw
    tar pit
    a natural accumulation of bitumens at the surface of the earth; often acts as a trap for animals whose bones are thus preserved
    type of:
    hole, hollow
    a depression hollowed out of solid matter
  2. noun
    a trap in the form of a concealed hole
    synonyms: pitfall
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a device in which something (usually an animal) can be caught and penned
  3. noun
    a workplace consisting of a coal mine plus all the buildings and equipment connected with it
    synonyms: colliery
    see moresee less
    type of:
    work, workplace
    a place where work is done
  4. noun
    a surface excavation for extracting stone or slate
    “a British term for `quarry' is `stone pit'”
    synonyms: quarry, stone pit
    see moresee less
    chalk pit, chalkpit
    a quarry for chalk
    gravel pit
    a quarry for gravel
    type of:
    a hole in the ground made by excavating
  5. noun
    lowered area in front of a stage where an orchestra accompanies the performers
    synonyms: orchestra pit
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a part of a structure having some specific characteristic or function
  6. noun
    (commodity exchange) the part of the floor of a commodity exchange where trading in a particular commodity is carried on
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a part of a structure having some specific characteristic or function
  7. noun
    (auto racing) an area at the side of a racetrack where the race cars are serviced and refueled
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a part of a structure having some specific characteristic or function
  8. noun
    a concavity in a surface (especially an anatomical depression)
    synonyms: fossa
    see moresee less
    glenoid cavity, glenoid fossa
    the concavity in the head of the scapula that receives the head of the humerus to form the shoulder joint
    glenoid fossa, mandibular fossa
    a deep concavity in the temporal bone at the root of the zygomatic arch that receives the condyle of the mandible
    epigastric fossa, pit of the stomach
    a slight depression in the midline just below the sternum (where a blow can affect the solar plexus)
    type of:
    bodily cavity, cavity, cavum
    (anatomy) a natural hollow or sinus within the body
    concave shape, concavity, incurvation, incurvature
    a shape that curves or bends inward
  9. verb
    mark with a scar
    synonyms: mark, pock, scar
    mark, nock, score
    make small marks into the surface of
    see moresee less
    mark with or as if with pockmarks
    cicatrise, cicatrize
    form a scar, after an injury
    type of:
    blemish, deface, disfigure
    mar or spoil the appearance of
  10. noun
    (Christianity) the abode of Satan and the forces of evil; where sinners suffer eternal punishment
    “a demon from the depths of the pit
    synonyms: Hell, Inferno, infernal region, nether region, perdition
    see moresee less
    the abode of God and the angels
    Gehenna, Tartarus
    a place where the wicked are punished after death
    hellfire, red region
    a place of eternal fire envisaged as punishment for the damned
    type of:
    fictitious place, imaginary place, mythical place
    a place that exists only in imagination; a place said to exist in fictional or religious writings
  11. noun
    an enclosure in which animals are made to fight
    see moresee less
    a pit for cockfights
    type of:
    a structure consisting of an area that has been enclosed for some purpose
  12. verb
    set into opposition or rivalry
    pit a chess player against the Russian champion”
    synonyms: match, oppose, play off
    see moresee less
    type of:
    confront, face
    oppose, as in hostility or a competition
  13. noun
    the hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed
    synonyms: endocarp, stone
    see moresee less
    peach pit
    the stone seed of a peach
    cherry stone
    the stone seed of a cherry
    type of:
    pericarp, seed vessel
    the ripened and variously modified walls of a plant ovary
  14. verb
    remove the pits from
    pit plums and cherries”
    synonyms: stone
    see moresee less
    type of:
    remove, take, take away, withdraw
    remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

A paragraph of text

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘pit'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up pit for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer