• Near the foundation of the probable bake shop, a pair of kilns once served for slaking lime, and perhaps for firing pottery. Between the kilns was a flame-scarred pit containing evidence of ironworking and the roasting of bog ore for iron
    Near the foundation of the probable bake shop, a pair of kilns once served for slaking lime, and perhaps for firing pottery. Between the kilns was a flame-scarred pit containing evidence of ironworking and the roasting of bog ore for iron
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v pit remove the pits from "pit plums and cherries"
    • v pit set into opposition or rivalry "let them match their best athletes against ours","pit a chess player against the Russian champion","He plays his two children off against each other"
    • v pit mark with a scar "The skin disease scarred his face permanently"
    • n pit a workplace consisting of a coal mine plus all the buildings and equipment connected with it
    • n pit lowered area in front of a stage where an orchestra accompanies the performers
    • n pit a surface excavation for extracting stone or slate "a British term for `quarry' is `stone pit'"
    • n pit a trap in the form of a concealed hole
    • n pit (auto racing) an area at the side of a racetrack where the race cars are serviced and refueled
    • n pit (commodity exchange) the part of the floor of a commodity exchange where trading in a particular commodity is carried on
    • n pit an enclosure in which animals are made to fight
    • n pit (Christianity) the abode of Satan and the forces of evil; where sinners suffer eternal punishment "Hurl'd headlong...To bottomless perdition, there to dwell"- John Milton","a demon from the depths of the pit","Hell is paved with good intentions"-Dr. Johnson"
    • n pit a sizeable hole (usually in the ground) "they dug a pit to bury the body"
    • n pit the hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed "you should remove the stones from prunes before cooking"
    • n pit a concavity in a surface (especially an anatomical depression)
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

How an ironworking pit was used. (From contemporary sources.) How an ironworking pit was used. (From contemporary sources.)
A cutlass in excellent preservation and many other objects from 17th-century Jamestown were found in a large clay borrow pit filled with refuse A cutlass in excellent preservation and many other objects from 17th-century Jamestown were found in a large clay...
The sisters struggle to get out of the pit The sisters struggle to get out of the pit
They hurried him towards the pit They hurried him towards the pit

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Racecar driver Lee Petty once left a pitstop and did a full lap at Nascar with a pit crew member still on the hood
    • Pit A covered deep hole for entrapping wild beasts; a pitfall; hence, a trap; a snare. Also used figuratively. "The anointed of the Lord was taken in their pits ."
    • Pit A depression or hollow in the surface of the human body
    • Pit (Bot) A depression or thin spot in the wall of a duct.
    • Pit A large cavity or hole in the ground, either natural or artificial; a cavity in the surface of a body; an indentation
    • Pit A large hole in the ground from which material is dug or quarried; as, a stone pit; a gravel pit ; or in which material is made by burning; as, a lime pit; a charcoal pit .
    • Pit A vat sunk in the ground; as, a tan pit .
    • Pit An inclosed area into which gamecocks, dogs, and other animals are brought to fight, or where dogs are trained to kill rats. "As fiercely as two gamecocks in the pit ."
    • Pit Any abyss; especially, the grave, or hades. "Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained.""He keepth back his soul from the pit ."
    • Pit Formerly, that part of a theater, on the floor of the house, below the level of the stage and behind the orchestra; now, in England, commonly the part behind the stalls; in the United States, the parquet; also, the occupants of such a part of a theater.
    • Pit See Pit of the stomachbelow).
    • Pit (Bot) The endocarp of a drupe, and its contained seed or seeds; a stone; as, a peach pit; a cherry pit, etc.
    • Pit The hollow place under the shoulder or arm; the axilla, or armpit.
    • Pit The indentation or mark left by a pustule, as in smallpox.
    • Pit The shaft of a coal mine; a coal pit.
    • Pit To introduce as an antagonist; to set forward for or in a contest; as, to pit one dog against another.
    • Pit To mark with little hollows, as by various pustules; as, a face pitted by smallpox.
    • Pit To place or put into a pit or hole. "They lived like beasts, and were pitted like beasts, tumbled into the grave."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Apple pits contain cyanide.
    • n pit A hole or cavity in the ground, whether natural or made by digging.
    • n pit Specifically.
    • n pit An excavation or hole in the ground, covered or otherwise concealed, for snaring wild beasts; a pitfall.
    • n pit A hole dug in the soil of a potato-or turnip-field, for storing potatoes, etc., during the winter. The vegetables stored are usually piled up to some height and covered with earth to keep out the frost.
    • n pit In horticulture, an excavation in the soil, generally covered by a glazed frame, for protecting tender plants, or for propagation.
    • n pit In founding, a cavity scooped in the floor to receive cast-metal.
    • n pit The shaft of a coal-mine, or the mine itself.
    • n pit A vat, such as is used in tanning, bleaching, dyeing, etc.
    • n pit A cavity or depression in the body: as, the pit of the stomach; the armpits.
    • n pit A very small depression or dent, such as that left on the flesh by a pustule of the small-pox; a dimple.
    • n pit In botany, one of the pores or thin places in the more or less lignified cell-walls of many plants. The bordered pits, which are especially characteristic of the wood of the Coniferæ, are composed of two concentric circles, which represent thin spots or pores in the walls of the tracheids. They are very regularly arranged.
    • n pit A hollow or cup.
    • n pit A deep place; a gulf; an abyss. Specifically— The grave.
    • n pit The abode of evil spirits; hell.
    • n pit An inclosed place or area for the exhibition of combats of dogs or cocks, or where dogs are trained or exhibited in killing rats: as, a dog-pit; a cock pit.
    • n pit That part of a theater which is on the floor of the house, somewhat below the level of the stage; and behind the usual station of the musicians. In the United Kingdom the name is now often given to the inferior seats behind the stalls. In the United States it has been superseded by orchestra or parquet.
    • n pit Those who occupy the pit in a theater; the people in the pit.
    • n pit That part of the floor of an exchange where a special kind of business is carried on: as, a grain-pit; a provision-pit.
    • n pit The cockpit of a ship.
    • n pit The framework in a belfry which supports the pivoted yoke of a swinging bell.
    • pit To catch, lay, or bury in a pit.
    • pit To form a little pit or hollow in; mark with little dents, as by the pustules of the smallpox.
    • pit To impress with rounded cup-like hollows, as the mold for a metal casting which is to have rounded bosses on it.
    • pit To put or set in the pit or area for fighting; match as contestants or opponents, one against another, as dogs or cocks: used figuratively of any competitors: generally followed by against.
    • pit To become marked or spotted with pits or depressions; retain the mark of pressure by or as by the fingers: as, in dropsy the skin pits on pressure.
    • n pit The stone of a fruit, as of a cherry or plum.
    • pit A Middle English and Scotch form of put.
    • n pit A cavity in the side of the head, between the eye and nostril, found in the poisonous snakes of the subfamily Crotalinæ, whence their name of pit-vipers. This pit is lined with membrane supplied with branches from the trigeminal nerve, but its exact function is not known. See cut under pit-viper
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Not only do apple seeds contain cyanogens, precursors to cyanide, but peach pits, almond skins, citrus fruits and some berrys contain them aswell.
    • n Pit pit a hole in the earth: a place whence minerals are dug: the bottomless pit: the grave: the abode of evil spirits: a hole used as a trap for wild beasts: the hollow of the stomach, or that under the arm at the shoulder: the indentation left by smallpox: the ground-floor of a theatre: an enclosure in which cocks fight: the shaft of a mine
    • v.t Pit to mark with little hollows: to lay in a pit: to set in competition:—pr.p. pit′ting; pa.t. and pa.p. pit′ted
    • ***


  • Bryan Adams
    Bryan Adams
    “I got in trouble with the police, and that was a rude awakening. That was it. I'd seen the bottom of the pit, and it was time to scrape myself out of it.”
  • Thomas Hood
    Thomas Hood
    “My books kept me from the ring, the dog-pit, the tavern, and the saloon.”
  • German Proverb
    German Proverb
    “Who digs a pit for others will fall in themselves.”
  • Erich Fromm
    “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”
  • Ogden Nash
    “No matter how deep and dark your pit, how dank your shroud, their heads are heroically unbloody and unbowed.”
  • John Arbuthnot
    John Arbuthnot
    “Law is a bottomless pit.”


Money pit - A business or venture that costs a lot of money, especially when it costs more than expected, is a money pit.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. pit, put, AS. pytt, a pit, hole, L. puteus, a well, pit


In literature:

Dig a pit in the middle of that track, and when Fafnir comes over it strike up into his coils of mail with Gram, thy great sword.
"The Children of Odin" by Padraic Colum
Flashlights probed into the hot impact pit in the open field, where the frozen soil had seemed to splash like a liquid.
"The Planet Strappers" by Raymond Zinke Gallun
The water is accumulated in this pit until it is filled, then it will automatically empty itself as later explained.
"Elements of Plumbing" by Samuel Dibble
The boiler pit is located in a sunken shed outside, not shown in the plan.
"Woodward's Graperies and Horticultural Buildings" by George E. Woodward
Chanting a loud, monotonous chorus, the natives threw themselves into the work and speedily had three pits started.
"The Rogue Elephant" by Elliott Whitney
At his side was a thin man with a face pitted by smallpox, and a forehead covered with strange protuberances.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
They soon got back to the pit-fall, Guapo of course leading the way.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
Pitting very slightly raised his voice.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
The meeting was over, and the boys went in twos and threes from the shed discussing the forthcoming battle in the sand-pit.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
Come to the pit when the Baron is safe in the house.
"The Dragon of Wantley" by Owen Wister

In poetry:

The plaïn ha' brightness wi' his strife,
The pit is only dark at best,
There's pleasure in a worksome life,
An' sloth is tiresome wi' its rest.
"Thissledown" by William Barnes
I will not fall! I will not; thou dost lie!
Deep Hell! that seethest in thy simmering pit;
Thy thousand throned horrors shall not vie,
Or ever compass it!
"Aspiration" by Madison Julius Cawein
Enoch, because he truly serv'd the Lord,
Never descended to the pit beneath —
But, in the flesh, to joys celestial soar'd,
Before he saw the dreary form of Death.
"Advice To Serve God" by Rees Prichard
Forgive my faults, allay this raging smart,
And save me from th' unfathom'd pit of hell,
That I may worship thee with all my heart,
And, whilst I live, thy boundless praises tell.
"Another On The Same Subject " by Rees Prichard
Something more than butterflies,
Or the sugared ancient lies,
Something with the ring of truth,
And the majesty of youth,
Something singing "all is well"
In the blackest pit of hell!
"A Song of Singers" by Richard Le Gallienne
Then all to your Saviour together repair,
To save your lost souls from the pit of despair;
Whoe'er will come freely in heaven shall dwell:
But all, who refuse, shall be tumbled to hell.
"Another Piece Of Advice To Sinners To Come To Christ" by Rees Prichard

In news:

A 3-month-old baby boy died Monday night after being mauled by the family's pit bull.
4 attacked by pit bull at doggie daycare.
A bride is recovering from injuries after she was attacked by a pit bull mix and its owner at her wedding reception.
A landlord was attacked by a pit bull Thursday afternoon during a visit to a tenant's home on Rushin Drive, Athens-Clarke police said.
Pit bull attacks girl, 7.
A 7-year-old girl was attacked yesterday by a pit bull in a hallway of an East Harlem housing project.
A Terryville woman is recovering after she was bit by a Pit Bull over the weekend.
Boy Bitten By Pit Bull In Oxnard Will Have To Undergo Painful Rabies Shots If Dog Isn't Found.
Brothers Mauled by Pit Bulls Discuss Recovery.
A Rockville woman was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after she was attacked by a pit bull.
Pit bulls are landing in Maricopa County animal shelters in droves, and they are staying the longest and getting euthanized more often than other breeds, shelter officials said.
An unprecedented 14,523 pit bulls filled Maricopa County shelters last year, making up about one-third of the shelters' dog population.
A 5-year-old pony had to be put to sleep Wednesday after it was attacked by two pit bulls.
Learning the Ropes, Pit Stop by Pit Stop.
The joke about the driver who made a dozen pit stops at the Indianapolis 500 to ask for directions is not as absurd as it sounds, once you talk to Scott Pruett.

In science:

The equivalence further shows that PIT of depth 3 arithmetic circuits reduces to PIT of width-2 planar commutative Algebraic Branching Programs (ABP).
The Power of Depth 2 Circuits over Algebras
Polynomial identity testing (PIT) is a fundamental problem in theoretical computer science.
The Power of Depth 2 Circuits over Algebras
As such, no other general polynomial time result is known for depth 3 circuits. A justification behind the hardness of PIT even for small depth circuits was provided recently by Agrawal and Vinay [AV08].
The Power of Depth 2 Circuits over Algebras
They showed that a deterministic black box identity test for depth 4 (ΣΠΣΠ) circuits would imply a quasi-polynomial time deterministic PIT algorithm for any circuit computing a polynomial of low degree1 .
The Power of Depth 2 Circuits over Algebras
Thus solving Problem 1.3 in polynomial time even for 3 × 3 matrices yields a polynomial time algorithm for PIT of constant depth circuits, in particular depth 4 circuits.
The Power of Depth 2 Circuits over Algebras