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A very unpleasant or unfortunate thing, situation, or circumstance. I'm sorry to hear about your divorce, Sam—that's the pits! I worked as a telemarketer one summer, and it was the pits.
A business, possession, or other financial commitment that requires or consumes an increasingly large amount of money, especially more than was first anticipated. I bought this restaurant because of its prime downtown location, but with all the repairs and the huge amount of staff needed to run it, it's proven to be quite a money pit. The problem with buying used cars is that, even if they started off being cheap, they often turn into money pits as they start breaking down.
be the pits
To be particularly bad, unfortunate, or awful, especially of a situation or outcome. Well, this is the pits. I absolutely cannot believe such a huge thunderstorm came through just as we were getting our picnic set up. I was so excited about this job when I first started. I wish I would have known it'd be the pits.
a bottomless pit
1. A person who is always hungry. Her teenage son was like a bottomless pit as he devoured every last bit of food in the house.
2. A situation that requires a seemingly endless amount of money or resources. With all the money and time we've sunk into repairs for the roof, windows, and foundation, this house has become a bottomless pit.
1. A stop during an auto race to repair or refuel the racing vehicle. With only three laps left, he'll have to decide whether to make a pit stop or try to reach the finish without running out of gas.
2. A short stop taken during a car trip to eat, rest, and/or refuel. I knew it was going to be a long drive from New York to Florida, so I planned several pit stops along the way to give myself a break.
have one's shoulder to the wheeland keep one's shoulder to the wheel; pit one's shoulder to the wheel
Fig. to do the hard work that needs to be done; to focus on getting a job done. You won't accomplish anything unless you put your shoulder to the wheel. I put my shoulder to the wheel and finished the job quickly.
pit of one's stomach
Fig. the middle of one's stomach; the location of a "visceral response." I got a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach when they told me the bad news.
pit someone or something against someone or something
to set someone or something in opposition to someone or something. The rules of the tournament pit their team against ours. John pitted Mary against Sally in the tennis match.
a bottomless pit
someone or something that always needs or wants more of whatever they are given, especially money It's a poor country with a bottomless pit of debt. Seb'll eat any food that's left over. He's a bottomless pit!
a pit stop(mainly American informal)
a short stop that you make on a long car journey in order to rest, eat and go to the toilet Clean toilets and a nice place to eat are what drivers are looking for when they make a pit stop.
pit your wits against somebody/something
to compete against someone or something using your intelligence That's the pleasure of fishing - pitting your wits against these clever little fish that are trying desperately not to get caught.
Set in direct opposition or competition, as in The civil war pitted brother against brother. This idiom alludes to setting fighting cocks or dogs against one another in a pit. [Mid-1700s]
The worst possible situation, as in Spending your birthday working alone is the pits, or That job is the pits. The allusion in this term is unclear. Some think it refers to coal pits, others to armpits, and still others to the area beside an auto racecourse, also called the pits, where cars are serviced during a race. [Second half of 1900s]
To set someone or something in competition with or opposition to someone or something else: The civil war pitted brother against brother. The match will pit the two greatest boxers against each other. The grading system pits one student against another and discourages cooperation.
1. n. a very hungry person. The guy is a bottomless pit. There isn’t enough food in town to fill him up.
2. n. an endless source of something, usually something troublesome. Our problems come from a bottomless pit. There is just no end to them.
n. a drive-in movie theater; any place where young people go to neck, such as an area where teenagers park. (Dated but still heard.) She wanted me to drive down to the passion-pit, but I said I had a headache.
1. n. a pause in a journey (usually by car) to urinate. (From the name of a service stop in automobile racing.) I think we’ll pull in at the next rest area. I need a pit stop.
2. n. an underarm deodorant. (Because it stops armpit odor.) Can I borrow your pit stop? I need it bad.
1. n. the armpits. (Usually crude.) Man, you have a problem in your pits.
2. and the pits n. anything really bad. (Always with the in this sense.) This whole day was the pits from beginning to end.
3. and the pits n. the depths of despair. (Always with the in this sense. Often with in as in the example.) It’s always in the pits with him.