Webster's Dictionary, 1913
Pit-hole noun A pit; a pockmark.
[ Middle English pich
, Anglo-Saxon pic
, Latin pix
; akin to Greek ....] 1. A thick, black, lustrous, and sticky substance obtained by boiling down tar. It is used in calking the seams of ships; also in coating rope, canvas, wood, ironwork, etc., to preserve them.
He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith. Ecclus. xiii. 1. 2. (Geol.) See Pitchstone . Amboyna pitch
, the resin of Dammara australis . See Kauri .
-- Burgundy pitch
. See under Burgundy .
-- Canada pitch
, the resinous exudation of the hemlock tree ( Abies Canadensis ); hemlock gum.
-- Jew's pitch
-- Mineral pitch
. See Bitumen and Asphalt .
-- Pitch coal (Min.)
, bituminous coal.
-- Pitch peat (Min.)
, a black homogeneous peat, with a waxy luster.
-- Pitch pine (Botany)
, any one of several species of pine, yielding pitch, esp. the Pinus rigida of North America.
Pitch transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Pitched
; present participle & verbal noun Pitching
.] [ See Pitch
] 1. To cover over or smear with pitch. Gen. vi. 14. 2. Fig.: To darken; to blacken; to obscure.
The welkin pitched with sullen could. Addison.
Pitch transitive verb [ Middle English picchen ; akin to English pick , pike .] Pitched battle , a general battle; a battle in which the hostile forces have fixed positions; -- in distinction from a skirmish . -- To pitch into , to attack; to assault; to abuse. [ Slang]
1. To throw, generally with a definite aim or purpose; to cast; to hurl; to toss; as, to pitch quoits; to pitch hay; to pitch a ball. 2. To thrust or plant in the ground, as stakes or poles; hence, to fix firmly, as by means of poles; to establish; to arrange; as, to pitch a tent; to pitch a camp. 3. To set, face, or pave with rubble or undressed stones, as an embankment or a roadway. Knight. 4. To fix or set the tone of; as, to pitch a tune. 5. To set or fix, as a price or value. [ Obsolete] Shak.
Pitch intransitive verb 1. To fix or place a tent or temporary habitation; to encamp.
"Laban with his brethren pitched
in the Mount of Gilead." Gen. xxxi. 25. 2. To light; to settle; to come to rest from flight.
The tree whereon they [ the bees] pitch . Mortimer. 3. To fix one's choise; -- with on or upon .
Pitch upon the best course of life, and custom will render it the more easy. Tillotson. 4. To plunge or fall; esp., to fall forward; to decline or slope; as, to pitch from a precipice; the vessel pitches in a heavy sea; the field pitches toward the east. Pitch and pay
, an old aphorism which inculcates ready-money payment, or payment on delivery of goods. Shak.
Pitch noun 1. A throw; a toss; a cast, as of something from the hand; as, a good pitch in quoits. Pitch and toss
, a game played by tossing up a coin, and calling "Heads or tails;"
hence: To play pitch and toss with (anything)
, to be careless or trust to luck about it.
" To play pitch and toss with
the property of the country." G. Eliot.
-- Pitch farthing
. See Chuck farthing , under 5th Chuck . 2. (Cricket) That point of the ground on which the ball pitches or lights when bowled. 3. A point or peak; the extreme point or degree of elevation or depression; hence, a limit or bound.
Driven headlong from the pitch of heaven, down Milton.
Into this deep.
Enterprises of great pitch and moment. Shak.
To lowest pitch of abject fortune. Milton.
He lived when learning was at its highest pitch . Addison.
The exact pitch , or limits, where temperance ends. Sharp. 4. Height; stature.
[ Obsolete] Hudibras. 5. A descent; a fall; a thrusting down. 6. The point where a declivity begins; hence, the declivity itself; a descending slope; the degree or rate of descent or slope; slant; as, a steep pitch in the road; the pitch of a roof. 7. (Mus.) The relative acuteness or gravity of a tone, determined by the number of vibrations which produce it; the place of any tone upon a scale of high and low.
» Musical tones with reference to absolute pitch
, are named after the first seven letters of the alphabet; with reference to relative pitch
, in a series of tones called the scale
, they are called one
is also one
of a new scale an octave higher, as one
of a scale an octave lower. 8. (Mining) The limit of ground set to a miner who receives a share of the ore taken out. 9. (Mech.) (a) The distance from center to center of any two adjacent teeth of gearing, measured on the pitch line ; -- called also circular pitch . (b) The length, measured along the axis, of a complete turn of the thread of a screw, or of the helical lines of the blades of a screw propeller. (c) The distance between the centers of holes, as of rivet holes in boiler plates. Concert pitch (Mus.)
, the standard of pitch used by orchestras, as in concerts, etc.
-- Diametral pitch (Gearing)
, the distance which bears the same relation to the pitch proper, or circular pitch, that the diameter of a circle bears to its circumference; it is sometimes described by the number expressing the quotient obtained by dividing the number of teeth in a wheel by the diameter of its pitch circle in inches; as, 4 pitch, 8 pitch, etc.
-- Pitch chain
, a chain, as one made of metallic plates, adapted for working with a sprocket wheel.
-- Pitch line
, or Pitch circle (Gearing)
, an ideal line, in a toothed gear or rack, bearing such a relation to a corresponding line in another gear, with which the former works, that the two lines will have a common velocity as in rolling contact; it usually cuts the teeth at about the middle of their height, and, in a circular gear, is a circle concentric with the axis of the gear; the line, or circle, on which the pitch of teeth is measured.
-- Pitch of a roof (Architecture)
, the inclination or slope of the sides expressed by the height in parts of the span; as, one half pitch ; whole pitch ; or by the height in parts of the half span, especially among engineers; or by degrees, as a pitch of 30Â°, of 45Â°, etc.; or by the rise and run , that is, the ratio of the height to the half span; as, a pitch of six rise to ten run. Equilateral pitch is where the two sloping sides with the span form an equilateral triangle.
-- Pitch of a plane (Carp.)
, the slant of the cutting iron.
-- Pitch pipe
, a wind instrument used by choristers in regulating the pitch of a tune.
-- Pitch point (Gearing)
, the point of contact of the pitch lines of two gears, or of a rack and pinion, which work together.
Pitch noun (Electricity) The distance between symmetrically arranged or corresponding parts of an armature, measured along a line, called the pitch line , drawn around its length. Sometimes half of this distance is called the pitch. Pitch of poles (Electricity) , the distance between a pair of poles of opposite sign.
Pitch-black adjective Black as pitch or tar.
Pitch-dark adjective Dark as a pitch; pitch-black.
Pitch-faced adjective (Stone Cutting) Having the arris defined by a line beyond which the rock is cut away, so as to give nearly true edges; -- said of squared stones that are otherwise quarry-faced.
Pitch-ore noun (Min.) Pitchblende.
[ 1st pitch + blende
.] (Min.) A pitch-black mineral consisting chiefly of the oxide of uranium; uraninite. See Uraninite .
1. One who pitches anything, as hay, quoits, a ball, etc.; specifically (Baseball) , the player who delivers the ball to the batsman. 2. A sort of crowbar for digging. [ Obsolete] Mortimer.
[ Middle English picher
, Old French pichier
, Old High German pehhar
; probably of the same origin as English beaker
. Confer Beaker
.] 1. A wide-mouthed, deep vessel for holding liquids, with a spout or protruding lip and a handle; a water jug or jar with a large ear or handle. 2. (Botany) A tubular or cuplike appendage or expansion of the leaves of certain plants. American pitcher plants
, the species of Sarracenia. See Sarracenia .
-- Australian pitcher plant
, the Cephalotus follicularis , a low saxifragaceous herb having two kinds of radical leaves, some oblanceolate and entire, others transformed into little ovoid pitchers, longitudinally triple-winged and ciliated, the mouth covered with a lid shaped like a cockleshell.
-- California pitcher plant
, the Darlingtonia California . See Darlingtonia .
-- Pitcher plant
, any plant with the whole or a part of the leaves transformed into pitchers or cuplike organs, especially the species of Nepenthes . See Nepenthes .
; plural Pitcherfuls The quantity a pitcher will hold.
Pitchfork noun A fork, or farming utensil, used in pitching hay, sheaves of grain, or the like.
Pitchfork transitive verb To pitch or throw with, or as with, a pitchfork.
He has been pitchforked into the footguards. G. A. Sala.
[ From Pitchy
.] Blackness, as of pitch; darkness.
Pitching noun Pitching piece (Carp.) , the horizontal timber supporting the floor of a platform of a stairway, and against which the stringpieces of the sloping parts are supported.
1. The act of throwing or casting; a cast; a pitch; as, wild pitching in baseball. 2. The rough paving of a street to a grade with blocks of stone. Mayhew. 3. (Hydraul. Eng.) A facing of stone laid upon a bank to prevent wear by tides or currents.
Pitchstone noun (Geol.) An igneous rock of semiglassy nature, having a luster like pitch.
Pitchwork noun The work of a coal miner who is paid by a share of his product.
[ From 1st Pitch
.] 1. Partaking of the qualities of pitch; resembling pitch. 2. Smeared with pitch. 3. Black; pitch-dark; dismal.
[ Middle English pitous
, Old French pitos
, French piteux
. See Pity
.] 1. Pious; devout.
The Lord can deliver piteous men from temptation. Wyclif. 2. Evincing pity, compassion, or sympathy; compassionate; tender.
"[ She] piteous
of his case." Pope.
She was so charitable and so pitous . Chaucer. 3. Fitted to excite pity or sympathy; wretched; miserable; lamentable; sad; as, a piteous case. Spenser.
The most piteous tale of Lear. Shak. 4. Paltry; mean; pitiful.
amends." Milton. Syn.
-- Sorrowful; mournful; affecting; doleful; woeful; rueful; sad; wretched; miserable; pitiable; pitiful; compassionate. -- Pit"e*ous*ly
Pitfall noun A pit deceitfully covered to entrap wild beasts or men; a trap of any kind. Sir T. North.
Pitfalling adjective Entrapping; insnaring. [ R.] "Full of . . . contradiction and pitfalling dispenses." Milton.
[ Anglo-Saxon pi...a
; akin to Dutch pit
pith, kernel, LG. peddik
. Confer Pit
a kernel.] 1. (Botany) The soft spongy substance in the center of the stems of many plants and trees, especially those of the dicotyledonous or exogenous classes. It consists of cellular tissue. 2. (a) (Zoology) The spongy interior substance of a feather. (b) (Anat.) The spinal cord; the marrow. 3. Hence: The which contains the strength of life; the vital or essential part; concentrated force; vigor; strength; importance; as, the speech lacked pith .
Enterprises of great pith and moment. Shak. Pith paper
. Same as Rice paper , under Rice .
Pith transitive verb (Physiol.) To destroy the central nervous system of (an animal, as a frog), as by passing a stout wire or needle up and down the vertebral canal.
[ New Latin ; Greek ... ape + ... man.] 1. A hypothetical genus of primates intermediate between man and the anthropoid apes. Haeckel. 2. A genus consisting of an primate ( P. erectus ) apparently intermediate between man and the existing anthropoid apes, known from bones of a single individual found in Java (hence called Java man ) in 1891-92. These bones include a thigh bone of the human type, two molar teeth intermediate between those of man and the anthropoids, and the calvaria of the skull, indicating a brain capacity of about 900 cubic centimeters, and resembling in form that of the Neanderthal man.
Also [ plural - thropi
], an animal of this genus.
-- Pith`e*can"thrope noun
-- Pith`e*can"thro*poid adjective
Pitheci noun plural [ New Latin , from Greek ... an ape.] (Zoology) A division of mammals including the apes and monkeys. Sometimes used in the sense of Primates .
Pithecoid adjective [ Greek ... an ape + -oid .] (Zoology)
1. Of or pertaining to the genus Pithecia , or subfamily Pithecinæ , which includes the saki, ouakari, and other allied South American monkeys. 2. Of or pertaining to the anthropoid apes in particular, or to the higher apes of the Old World, collectively.
Pithful adjective Full of pith. [ R.] W. Browne.
Pithily adverb In a pithy manner.
Pithiness noun The quality or state of being pithy.
Pithless adjective Destitute of pith, or of strength; feeble. Dryden. " Pithless argumentation." Glandstone.
Pithsome adjective Pithy; robust. [ R.] " Pithsome health and vigor." R. D. Blackmore.
[ Compar. Pithier
; superl. Pithiest
.] 1. Consisting wholly, or in part, of pith; abounding in pith; as, a pithy stem; a pithy fruit. 2. Having nervous energy; forceful; cogent.
This pithy speech prevailed, and all agreed. Dryden.
In all these Goodman Fact was very short, but pithy . Addison. Pithy gall (Zoology)
, a large, rough, furrowed, oblong gall, formed on blackberry canes by a small gallfly ( Diastrophus nebulosus ).
[ Confer Old French pitiable
, French pitoyable
.] Deserving pity; wworthy of, or exciting, compassion; miserable; lamentable; piteous; as, pitiable persons; a pitiable condition; pitiable wretchedness. Syn.
-- Sorrowful; woeful; sad. See Piteous
. -- Pit"i*a*ble*ness
Pitier noun One who pities. Gauden.
Pitiful adjective 1. Full of pity; tender-hearted; compassionate; kind; merciful; sympathetic.
The Lord is very pitiful , and of tender mercy. James v. 11. 2. Piteous; lamentable; eliciting compassion.
A thing, indeed, very pitiful and horrible. Spenser. 3. To be pitied for littleness or meanness; miserable; paltry; contemptible; despicable.
That's villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Shak. Syn.
-- Despicable; mean; paltry. See Contemptible
. -- Pit"i*ful*ly
1. Destitute of pity; hard-hearted; merciless; as, a pitiless master; pitiless elements. 2. Exciting no pity; as, a pitiless condition. -- Pit"i*less*ly , adverb -- Pit"i*less*ness , noun
; plural Pitmen 1. One who works in a pit, as in mining, in sawing timber, etc. 2. (Machinery) The connecting rod in a sawmill; also, sometimes, a connecting rod in other machinery.
Pitot's tube (Hydraul.) A bent tube used to determine the velocity of running water, by placing the curved end under water, and observing the height to which the fluid rises in the tube; a kind of current meter.
Pitpan noun A long, flat- bottomed canoe, used for the navigation of rivers and lagoons in Central America. Squier.
Pitta (pĭt"tȧ) noun (Zoology) Any one of a large group of bright-colored clamatorial birds belonging to Pitta , and allied genera of the family Pittidæ . Most of the species are varied with three or more colors, such as blue, green, crimson, yellow, purple, and black. They are called also ground thrushes , and Old World ant thrushes ; but they are not related to the true thrushes. » The pittas are most abundant in the East Indies, but some inhabit Southern Asia, Africa, and Australia. They live mostly upon the ground, and feed upon insects of various kinds.
Pittacal (pĭt"tȧ*kăl) noun [ Greek pi`tta , pi`ssa , pitch + kalo`s beautiful: confer French pittacale .] (Chemistry) A dark blue substance obtained from wood tar. It consists of hydrocarbons which when oxidized form the orange-yellow eupittonic compounds, the salts of which are dark blue.
[ Middle English pitance
, French pitance
; confer Italian pietanza
, Late Latin pitancia
; perhaps from Latin pietas
pity, piety, or perhaps akin to English petty
. Confer Petty
, and Pity
.] 1. An allowance of food bestowed in charity; a mess of victuals; hence, a small charity gift; a dole.
"A good pitaunce
One half only of this pittance was ever given him in money. Macaulay. 2. A meager portion, quantity, or allowance; an inconsiderable salary or compensation.
"The small pittance
of learning they received." Swift.
The inconsiderable pittance of faithful professors. Fuller.
(-tĕd) adjective 1. Marked with little pits, as in smallpox. See Pit , transitive verb , 2. 2. (Botany) Having minute thin spots; as, pitted ducts in the vascular parts of vegetable tissue.
Pitter noun A contrivance for removing the pits from peaches, plums, and other stone fruit.
Pitter intransitive verb To make a pattering sound; to murmur; as, pittering streams. [ Obsolete] R. Greene.
Pitter-patter noun A sound like that of alternating light beats. Also, a pattering of words.
Pitter-patter adverb With, or with the sound of, alternating light beats; as, his heart went pitter- patter .
Pittle-pattle intransitive verb To talk unmeaningly; to chatter or prattle. [ R.] Latimer.