pits


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

pit 1

 (pĭt)
n.
1. A natural or artificial hole or cavity in the ground.
2.
a. An excavation for the removal of mineral deposits; a mine.
b. The shaft of a mine.
3. A concealed hole in the ground used as a trap; a pitfall.
4. A small indentation in a surface: pits in a windshield.
5.
a. A natural hollow or depression in the body or an organ.
b. A small indented scar left in the skin by smallpox or other eruptive disease; a pockmark.
c. Zoology Either of a pair of depressions between the nostril and the eye of a pit viper that contain heat-sensing organs.
d. Botany A cavity in the wall of a plant cell where there is no secondary wall, as in fibers, tracheids, and vessel elements.
e. Informal An armpit.
6. An enclosed, usually sunken area in which animals, such as dogs or gamecocks, are placed for fighting.
7.
a. The section directly in front of and below the stage of a theater, in which the musicians sit.
b. Chiefly British The ground floor of a theater behind the stalls.
8.
a. The section of an exchange where trading in a specific commodity is carried on.
b. The gambling area of a casino.
9.
a. A sunken area in a garage floor from which mechanics may work on cars.
b. often pits Sports An area beside an auto racecourse where cars may be refueled or serviced during a race: pulled into the pits to have the tires rotated.
10.
a. Hell. Used with the.
b. A miserable or depressing place or situation.
c. pits Slang The worst. Used with the: "New York politics are the pits" (Washington Star).
11. Football The middle areas of the defensive and offensive lines.
v. pit·ted, pit·ting, pits
v.tr.
1. To mark with cavities, depressions, or scars: a surface pitted with craters.
2. To set in direct opposition or competition: a war that pitted brother against brother.
3. To place, bury, or store in a pit.
v.intr.
1. To become marked with pits.
2. To retain an impression after being indented. Used of the skin.
3. To stop at a refueling area during an auto race.

[Middle English, from Old English pytt, ultimately from Latin puteus, well; see pau- in Indo-European roots.]

pit 2

 (pĭt)
n.
The single central kernel or stone of certain fruits, such as a peach or cherry.
tr.v. pit·ted, pit·ting, pits
To extract the pit from (a fruit).

[Dutch, from Middle Dutch.]

pits

(pɪts)
pl n
the pits slang the worst possible person, place, or thing
[C20: perhaps shortened from armpits]

pits

Special areas along racing tracks for refueling and servicing the cars.
References in classic literature ?
It was so feeble and inconsistent a culmination to the beautiful scenery they had passed through, so hopeless and imbecile a conclusion to the preparation of that long picturesque journey, with its glimpses of sylvan and pastoral glades and canyons, that, as the coach swept down the last incline, and the remorseless monotony of the dead level spread out before them, furrowed by ditches and indented by pits, under cover of shielding their cheeks from the impalpable dust that rose beneath the plunging wheels, they buried their faces in their handkerchiefs, to hide a few half-hysterical tears.
It was well he did, for the whole hill-back was one billowy, white ocean; the swells and falls not indicating corresponding rises and depressions in the ground: many pits, at least, were filled to a level; and entire ranges of mounds, the refuse of the quarries, blotted from the chart which my yesterday's walk left pictured in my mind.
There was a story that one of the pits dug for the dead in the time of the Great Plague was hereabout; and a blighting influence seemed to have proceeded from it over the whole place.
Gradually the night fell blacker; it was all I could do to guide myself even roughly towards my destination; the double hill behind me and the Spy-glass on my right hand loomed faint and fainter; the stars were few and pale; and in the low ground where I wandered I kept tripping among bushes and rolling into sandy pits.
From the palace you could see the rows and rows of roofless houses that made up the city looking like empty honeycombs filled with blackness; the shapeless block of stone that had been an idol in the square where four roads met; the pits and dimples at street corners where the public wells once stood, and the shattered domes of temples with wild figs sprouting on their sides.
Well then," said the farmer, "this son of mine who is going to be a bachelor, fell in love in the said town with a damsel called Clara Perlerina, daughter of Andres Perlerino, a very rich farmer; and this name of Perlerines does not come to them by ancestry or descent, but because all the family are paralytics, and for a better name they call them Perlerines; though to tell the truth the damsel is as fair as an Oriental pearl, and like a flower of the field, if you look at her on the right side; on the left not so much, for on that side she wants an eye that she lost by small-pox; and though her face is thickly and deeply pitted, those who love her say they are not pits that are there, but the graves where the hearts of her lovers are buried.
Find it he did, soon after dawn, and not far from the sand pits.
Then she dug four pits for us to lie in, and sat down to wait till we should come up.
The men took positions behind a curv- ing line of rifle pits that had been turned up, like a large furrow, along the line of woods.
He had more goods and supplies of various kinds, also, than were required for present purposes, or than could be conveniently transported on horseback; aided, therefore, by a few confidential men, he made caches, or secret pits, during the night, when all the rest of the camp were asleep, and in these deposited the superfluous effects, together with the wagons.
Neither could I forget what I had read of these pits -- that the sudden extinction of life formed no part of their most horrible plan.
A shudder crept through the heart of the Gascon, so brave and so strong against all the misfortunes of life; and during some moments the clouds appeared black to him, the earth slippery and full of pits as that of cemeteries.