pit against


Also found in: Legal.

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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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]
See also: pit

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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References in periodicals archive ?
He has only a small national army to pit against the warlords' hordes of soldiers and has lurched from one political stand-off to another since he took office in Dec.
However, the Sun Bowl wouldn't be interested in hosting the Bruins two years in a row and organizers of the inaugural Seattle Bowl prefer a team from the Northwest to pit against the No.
By overvaluing certain staff members, the patient amasses allies to pit against the devalued staff.