Definition of pit noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɪt//
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    deep hole
  1. 1[countable] a large deep hole in the ground We dug a deep pit in the yard. The body had been dumped in a pit.
  2. 2[countable] (especially in compounds) a deep hole in the ground from which minerals are dug out a chalk/gravel pit
  3. mine
  4. 3[countable] = coal mine pit closures (British English) He went down the pit (= started work as a miner) when he left school.
  5. in skin
  6. 4[countable] a small shallow hole in the surface of something, especially a mark left on the surface of the skin by some disease, such as chickenpox see also pitted
  7. in fruit
  8. 5[countable] (especially North American English) = stone a peach pit
  9. in motor racing
  10. 6the pits [plural] (British English) (usually North American English the pit [countable]) a place near the track where cars can stop for fuel, new tyres, etc. during a race see also pit stop
  11. in theatre
  12. 7[countable] = orchestra pit
  13. part of body
  14. 8[countable] (North American English, informal) = armpit
  15. in business
  16. 9[countable] (North American English) the area of a stock exchange where a particular product is traded the corn pit compare floor
  17. see also sandpit
    Word Originnoun senses 1 to 4 and noun senses 6 to 9,Old English pytt, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch put and German Pfütze, based on Latin puteus ‘well, shaft’. noun sense 5 mid 19th cent.: apparently from Dutch; related to pith.Extra examples Most boys in the town worked in the pits. There’s no more work in these pit villages. They extract the mineral from open pits and underground mines. a disused gravel pit The human mind is a dark, bottomless pit. cherry/​peach pitsIdioms (informal) to be very bad or the worst example of something
    a bottomless pit (of something)
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    a thing or situation which seems to have no limits or seems never to end There isn't a bottomless pit of money for public spending. the bottomless pit of his sorrow
    the pit of your/the stomach
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    the bottom of the stomach where people say they feel strong feelings, especially fear He had a sudden sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. See related entries: Fear
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pit