pit


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the pits

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.
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money pit

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.
See also: money, pit

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.
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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.
See also: bottomless, pit

pit stop

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.
See also: pit, stop

have one's shoulder to the wheel

 and 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.
See also: have, shoulder, wheel

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.
See also: of, pit, stomach

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.
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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!
See also: 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.
See also: 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.
See also: pit, wit

pit against

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]
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the pits

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]
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pit against

v.
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.
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bottomless pit

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.
See also: bottomless, pit

passion-pit

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.

pit stop

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.
See also: pit, stop

pits

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.
See also: pit

the pits

verb
See pits
See also: pit
References in classic literature ?
I quitted the island, as I said, without any escort except my ass; I fell into a pit, I pushed on through it, until this morning by the light of the sun I saw an outlet, but not so easy a one but that, had not heaven sent me my master Don Quixote, I'd have stayed there till the end of the world.
Quick, guardsmen, to the pits with the black maniac who wishes to throw his life away for a poor joke upon your ruler
Day after day was the thing repeated, until I was on the verge of madness; and then, as I had done in the pits of the Warhoons, I took a new, firm hold upon my reason and forced it back into the channels of sanity.
Down the spiral path of the pit they bore him, encircling the sheening, glowing Red One that seemed ever imminent to iridesce from colour and light into sweet singing and thunder.
So absorbed was the ape-man in speculation as to the purpose of the covered pit that he permitted the blacks to depart in the direction of their village without the usual baiting which had rendered him the terror of Mbonga's people and had afforded Tarzan both a vehicle of revenge and a source of inexhaustible delight.
Puzzle as he would, however, he could not solve the mystery of the concealed pit, for the ways of the blacks were still strange ways to Tarzan.
Sniffing suspiciously, he circled the edge of the pit.
Returning along the passage, on the left-hand side from the stage, and looking about me attentively, I discovered him in the pit.
Many a burst of applause from the pit that night started from the soft, comfortable patting of the black-gloved hands.
The rope came in tight and strained; and ring after ring was coiled upon the barrel of the windlass, and all eyes were fastened on the pit.
As these were made, they were hung upon an arm of the pitman who had last come up, with instructions how to use them: and as he stood, shown by the light he carried, leaning his powerful loose hand upon one of the poles, and sometimes glancing down the pit, and sometimes glancing round upon the people, he was not the least conspicuous figure in the scene.
In that case my end would be no more certain, though infinitely more horrible and painful, for in the pits I should be subjected to cruel vivisection.
That you return to them that which you stole from the pits of Phutra when you killed the four Mahars and escaped," he replied.
And you would know more, I can prove my right to be heard and to be believed if I may have word with the Princess Haja of Gathol, whose son is my fellow prisoner in the pits of O-Tar, his father.
And what is it to the jed of Manatos who be the prisoners in the pits of his jeddak?