Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pit - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] pit pronunciation in American English /pɪt/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    a very large hole dug in the ground in order to obtain a particular substance or type of stone

    a gravel pit

    1. a.
      a hole that you dig in the ground to put something in it

      a bear pit

      a barbecue pit

    2. b.
      a mine under the ground, especially a coal mine
  2. 4
    informal an armpit 1
  3. 6
    informal an extremely messy place

    Her room was an absolute pit.

  4. 7
    mainly literary a state in which you have very strong unpleasant feelings or in which something bad is happening
    pit of:

    Dimitri was in a pit of despair.

    Many politicians have fallen into the pit of corruption.

  5. 8

    the pit

    American the area beside a race track where cars are repaired or get more gas during a race
  6. 9

    the pits

    informal something that is very bad

    Having to work on Saturday night is the pits.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play