pit against

Also found in: Legal.

pit (someone or something) against (someone or something else)

To set someone or something into direct conflict, opposition, or competition against someone or something else. She liked pitting men against each other to vie for her affection. The country has pitted itself against the rest of the world with its plan to develop nuclear weapons.
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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]
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pit against

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 ?
In Flourishing Sideline Occupations, 1978, one fabric scrap is pit against another.
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.