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

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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.
See also: pit, something
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: pit
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
See also: pit
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
figure By TOM OSANJO When the draw to the CAF Confederation Cup was done last week, I expected an interesting grouping.And it did not disappoint because it pitted us against one of our bitter, if not the bitterest, rivals in African football, Zamalek.
Two of our wars, the Revolution and the Civil War, pitted us against fellow countrymen.
As it turned it, while the pairings in France pitted us against Poland, Ukraine and Germany, Northern Ireland will not be without hope for a positive Group C outcome.
Through the peace process and in other ways, we seek to heal the wounds of history that have pitted us against each other, because of religion, because of historical circumstances."
Chung is more sober in her recollections, describing a work environment of "sexism, racism, boys' club, all of the above'' and how "the guys pitted us against each other, and they put us through a rough hazing period.'' She noted that Burgundy's personality was not such a stretch from some real newsmen.
Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Francis is calling church members "to get beyond the tired liberal-conservative divide that too often has pitted us against each other" and "stopped us from working together for the common good."
We know our work on the subprime-lending crisis has pitted us against some of the largest banks in the world.
"As directed by the president, the response was based on science, even when that pitted us against BP or state and local officials, and the response pushed BP every step of the way," it said.
The final pitted us against Boro Rangers who had overcame a strong Stockton Town on penalties.
We need that with what government has done, they've pitted us against each other for years," said Loutitt.
"When we saw the draw had pitted us against Rangers we certainly weren't thinking about booking hotels or a place in the semi-finals.
"But the press pitted us against each other." For a time Bullock shuttled between his gabby gig and a key role in End of the World Party, a play about issues affecting gay men in the late '80s.
Too many times the government has pitted us against each other."