—n. 1. a naturally formed or excavated hole or cavity in the ground: pits caused by erosion; clay pits. 2. a covered or concealed excavation in the ground, serving as a trap.
3. Mining. a. an excavation made in exploring for or removing a mineral deposit, as by open-cut methods.
b. the shaft of a coal mine.
c. the mine itself.
4. the abode of evil spirits and lost souls; hell: an evil inspiration from the pit. 5. the pits,Slang.an extremely unpleasant, boring, or depressing place, condition, person, etc.; the absolute worst: When you're alone, Christmas is the pits. 6. a hollow or indentation in a surface: glass flawed by pits. 7. a natural hollow or depression in the body: the pit of the back. 8. pits,Informal.the armpits: up to my pits in work. 9. a small, depressed scar, as one of those left on the skin after smallpox or chicken pox.
10. an enclosure, usually below the level of the spectators, as for staging fights between dogs, cocks, or, formerly, bears.
11. (in a commodity exchange) a part of the floor of the exchange where trading in a particular commodity takes place: the corn pit. 12. Archit. a. all that part of the main floor of a theater behind the musicians.
b. Brit.the main floor of a theater behind the stalls.
c. orchestra (def. 2a).
13. (in a hoistway) a space below the level of the lowest floor served.
14. Auto Racing.an area at the side of a track, for servicing and refueling the cars.
15. Bowling.the sunken area of a bowling alley behind the pins, for the placement or recovery of pins that have been knocked down.
16. Track.the area forward of the takeoff point in a jumping event, as the broad jump or pole vault, that is filled with sawdust or soft earth to lessen the force of the jumper's landing.
17. the area or room of a casino containing gambling tables.
—v.t. 1. to mark or indent with pits or depressions: ground pitted by erosion. 2. to scar with pockmarks: His forehead was pitted by chicken pox. 3. to place or bury in a pit, as for storage.
4. to set in opposition or combat, as one against another.
5. to put (animals) in a pit or enclosure for fighting.
—v.i. 1. to become marked with pits or depressions.
2. (of body tissue) to retain temporarily a mark of pressure, as by a finger, instrument, etc.
Pronunciation: (pit),[key] —n., v.,pit•ted, pit•ting.Chiefly Northern U.S.
—n. the stone of a fruit, as of a cherry, peach, or plum.
—v.t. to remove the pit from (a fruit or fruits): to pit cherries for a pie.