Hypertext Webster Gateway: "pit"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

a hole in the ground (Ex. 21:33, 34), a cistern for water (Gen.
37:24; Jer. 14:3), a vault (41:9), a grave (Ps. 30:3). It is
used as a figure for mischief (Ps. 9:15), and is the name given
to the unseen place of woe (Rev. 20:1, 3). The slime-pits in the
vale of Siddim were wells which yielded asphalt (Gen. 14:10).

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Cyclone cellar \Cyclone cellar\ or pit \pit\ .
A cellar or excavation used for refuge from a cyclone, or
tornado. [Middle U. S.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Pit \Pit\, n. [OE. pit, put, AS. pytt a pit, hole, L. puteus a
well, pit.]
1. A large cavity or hole in the ground, either natural or
artificial; a cavity in the surface of a body; an
indentation; specifically:
(a) The shaft of a coal mine; a coal pit.
(b) 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.
(c) A vat sunk in the ground; as, a tan pit.

Tumble me into some loathsome pit. --Shak.

2. Any abyss; especially, the grave, or hades.

Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained.

He keepth back his soul from the pit. --Job xxxiii.

3. 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.
--Lam. iv. 20.

4. A depression or hollow in the surface of the human body;
(a) The hollow place under the shoulder or arm; the
axilla, or armpit.
(b) See {Pit of the stomach} (below).
(c) The indentation or mark left by a pustule, as in

5. 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.

6. 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.''

7. [Cf. D. pit, akin to E. pith.] (Bot.)
(a) The endocarp of a drupe, and its contained seed or
seeds; a stone; as, a peach pit; a cherry pit, etc.
(b) A depression or thin spot in the wall of a duct.

{Cold pit} (Hort.), an excavation in the earth, lined with
masonry or boards, and covered with glass, but not
artificially heated, -- used in winter for the storing and
protection of half-hardly plants, and sometimes in the
spring as a forcing bed.

{Pit coal}, coal dug from the earth; mineral coal.

{Pit frame}, the framework over the shaft of a coal mine.

{Pit head}, the surface of the ground at the mouth of a pit
or mine.

{Pit kiln}, an oven for coking coal.

{Pit martin} (Zo["o]l.), the bank swallow. [Prov. Eng.]

{Pit of the stomach} (Anat.), the depression on the middle
line of the epigastric region of the abdomen at the lower
end of the sternum; the infrasternal depression.

{Pit saw} (Mech.), a saw worked by two men, one of whom
stands on the log and the other beneath it. The place of
the latter is often in a pit, whence the name.

{Pit viper} (Zo["o]l.), any viperine snake having a deep pit
on each side of the snout. The rattlesnake and copperhead
are examples.

{Working pit} (Min.), a shaft in which the ore is hoisted and
the workmen carried; -- in distinction from a shaft used
for the pumps.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Pit \Pit\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pitted}; p. pr. & vb. n.
1. To place or put into a pit or hole.

They lived like beasts, and were pitted like beasts,
tumbled into the grave. --T. Grander.

2. To mark with little hollows, as by various pustules; as, a
face pitted by smallpox.

3. To introduce as an antagonist; to set forward for or in a
contest; as, to pit one dog against another.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: a sizeable hole (usually in the ground); "they dug a pit to
bury the body" [syn: {cavity}]
2: a concavity in a surface (especially an anatomical
depression) [syn: {fossa}]
3: the hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some
fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that
contains the seed [syn: {stone}, {endocarp}]
4: a trap in the form of a concealed hole [syn: {pitfall}]
5: a surface excavation for extracting stone or slate: "a
British term for `quarry' is `stone pit'" [syn: {quarry},
{stone pit}]
6: lowered area in front of a stage where an orchestra
accompanies the performers [syn: {orchestra pit}]
7: a workplace consisting of a coal mine plus all the buildings
and equipment connected with it [syn: {colliery}]
v 1: 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" [syn: {oppose}, {match}, {play off}]
2: mark with a scar; "The skin disease scarred his face
permanently" [syn: {scar}, {mark}, {pock}]
3: remove the pits from, as of certain fruit such as peaches
[syn: {stone}]

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