The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Pit \Pit\, n. [OE. pit, put, AS. pytt a pit, hole, L. puteus a
1. A large cavity or hole in the ground, either natural or
artificial; a cavity in the surface of a body; an
(a) The shaft of a coal mine; a coal pit.
(b) A large hole in the ground from which material is dug
or quarried; as, a stone pit; a gravel pit; or in
which material is made by burning; as, a lime pit; a
(c) A vat sunk in the ground; as, a tan pit.
Tumble me into some loathsome pit. --Shak.
2. Any abyss; especially, the grave, or hades.
Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained.
He keepth back his soul from the pit. --Job xxxiii.
3. A covered deep hole for entrapping wild beasts; a pitfall;
hence, a trap; a snare. Also used figuratively.
The anointed of the Lord was taken in their pits.
--Lam. iv. 20.
4. A depression or hollow in the surface of the human body;
(a) The hollow place under the shoulder or arm; the
axilla, or armpit.
(b) See Pit of the stomach (below).
(c) The indentation or mark left by a pustule, as in
5. Formerly, that part of a theater, on the floor of the
house, below the level of the stage and behind the
orchestra; now, in England, commonly the part behind the
stalls; in the United States, the parquet; also, the
occupants of such a part of a theater.
6. An inclosed area into which gamecocks, dogs, and other
animals are brought to fight, or where dogs are trained to
kill rats. "As fiercely as two gamecocks in the pit."
7. [Cf. D. pit, akin to E. pith.] (Bot.)
(a) The endocarp of a drupe, and its contained seed or
seeds; a stone; as, a peach pit; a cherry pit, etc.
(b) A depression or thin spot in the wall of a duct.
Cold pit (Hort.), an excavation in the earth, lined with
masonry or boards, and covered with glass, but not
artificially heated, -- used in winter for the storing and
protection of half-hardly plants, and sometimes in the
spring as a forcing bed.
Pit coal, coal dug from the earth; mineral coal.
Pit frame, the framework over the shaft of a coal mine.
Pit head, the surface of the ground at the mouth of a pit
Pit kiln, an oven for coking coal.
Pit martin (Zool.), the bank swallow. [Prov. Eng.]
Pit of the stomach (Anat.), the depression on the middle
line of the epigastric region of the abdomen at the lower
end of the sternum; the infrasternal depression.
Pit saw (Mech.), a saw worked by two men, one of whom
stands on the log and the other beneath it. The place of
the latter is often in a pit, whence the name.
pit stop, See pit stop in the vocabulary.
Pit viper (Zool.), any viperine snake having a deep pit on
each side of the snout. The rattlesnake and copperhead are
Working pit (Min.), a shaft in which the ore is hoisted and
the workmen carried; -- in distinction from a shaft used
for the pumps.