What, exactly, is a pit?
#102595. Asked by author. (Jan 27 09 12:42 AM)
Lots of different things! |
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 term:
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. Architectural term:
a. all that part of the main floor of a theater behind the musicians.
b. British. 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.
Then come the verb uses, both transitive and intransitive.
From an etymologically different source:
18. the stone of a fruit, as of a cherry, peach, or plum.
it has many meanings: |
# a sizeable hole (usually in the ground); "they dug a pit to bury the body"
# a concavity in a surface (especially an anatomical depression)
# stone: 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"
# Hell: (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
# an enclosure in which animals are made to fight
# (commodity exchange) the part of the floor of a commodity exchange where trading in a particular commodity is carried on
# (auto racing) an area at the side of a racetrack where the race cars are serviced and refueled
# a trap in the form of a concealed hole
# 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"
# a surface excavation for extracting stone or slate; "a British term for `quarry' is `stone pit'"
# scar: mark with a scar; "The skin disease scarred his face permanently"
# orchestra pit: lowered area in front of a stage where an orchestra accompanies the performers
# remove the pits from; "pit plums and cherries"
# colliery: a workplace consisting of a coal mine plus all the buildings and equipment connected with it
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