pitch

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
: a black or dark viscous substance obtained as a residue in the distillation of organic materials and especially tars
2
: any of various bituminous substances
3
: resin obtained from various conifers and often used medicinally
4
: any of various artificial mixtures resembling resinous or bituminous pitches

pitch

2 of 4

verb (1)

pitched; pitching; pitches

transitive verb

: to cover, smear, or treat with or as if with pitch

pitch

3 of 4

verb (2)

pitched; pitching; pitches

transitive verb

1
: to erect and fix firmly in place
pitch a tent
2
: to throw usually with a particular objective or toward a particular point
pitch hay onto a wagon
: such as
a
: to throw (a baseball) to a batter
b
: to toss (something, such as coins) so as to fall at or near a mark
pitch pennies
c
: to put aside or discard by or as if by throwing
pitched the trash into the bin
3
a
: to present or advertise especially in a high-pressure way : plug, promote
b
: to attempt to persuade especially with a sales pitch
c
: to present (a movie or program idea) for consideration (as by a TV producer)
4
a(1)
: to cause to be at a particular level or of a particular quality
a test pitched at a 5th-grade reading level
(2)
: to set in a particular musical key
b
: to cause to be set at a particular angle : slope
5
: to utter glibly and insincerely
6
a
: to use as a starting pitcher
b
: to play as pitcher
7
: to hit (a golf ball) in a high arc with backspin so that it rolls very little after striking the green
8
: throw sense 6
pitch a fit

intransitive verb

1
a
: to fall precipitately or headlong
b(1)
of a ship : to have the bow alternately plunge precipitately and rise abruptly
(2)
of an aircraft, missile, or spacecraft : to turn about a lateral axis so that the forward end rises or falls in relation to the after end
2
: encamp
3
: to hit upon or happen upon something
pitch upon the perfect gift
4
: to incline downward : slope
5
a
: to throw a ball to a batter
b
: to play ball as a pitcher
c
: to pitch a golf ball
6
: to make a sales pitch

pitch

4 of 4

noun (2)

1
a
: slope
also : degree of slope : rake
b
: the distance between any of various things: such as
(1)
: distance between one point on a gear tooth and the corresponding point on the next tooth
(2)
: distance from any point on the thread of a screw to the corresponding point on an adjacent thread measured parallel to the axis
c
: the theoretical distance a propeller would advance longitudinally in one revolution
d
: the number of teeth or of threads per inch
e
: a unit of width of type based on the number of times a letter can be set in a linear inch
2
: the action or a manner of pitching
especially : an up-and-down movement compare yaw
3
archaic : top, zenith
4
a
: the relative level, intensity, or extent of some quality or state
tensions rose to a feverish pitch
b(1)
: the property of a sound and especially a musical tone that is determined by the frequency of the waves producing it : highness or lowness of sound
(2)
: a standard frequency for tuning instruments
c(1)
: the difference in the relative vibration frequency of the human voice that contributes to the total meaning of speech
(2)
: a definite relative pitch that is a significant phenomenon in speech
5
a
: a steep place : declivity
b
: the portion of a route (as in mountain climbing or caving) between belay points
6
chiefly British
a
: an outdoor site (as for camping or doing business)
7
: an all-fours game in which the first card led is a trump
8
a
: an often high-pressure sales presentation
c
: recommendation, plug
made a pitch for tax cuts
9
a
: the delivery of a baseball by a pitcher to a batter
b
: a baseball so thrown
pitched adjective

Illustration of pitch

Illustration of pitch
  • two systems of staff notation of pitch
Phrases
pitch into
1
2
: to set to work on energetically
Choose the Right Synonym for pitch

throw, cast, toss, fling, hurl, pitch, sling mean to cause to move swiftly through space by a propulsive movement or a propelling force.

throw is general and interchangeable with the other terms but may specifically imply a distinctive motion with bent arm.

can throw a fastball and a curve

cast usually implies lightness in the thing thrown and sometimes a scattering.

cast it to the winds

toss suggests a light or careless or aimless throwing and may imply an upward motion.

tossed the coat on the bed

fling stresses a violent throwing.

flung the ring back in his face

hurl implies power as in throwing a massive weight.

hurled himself at the intruder

pitch suggests throwing carefully at a target.

pitch horseshoes

sling stresses either the use of whirling momentum in throwing or directness of aim.

slung the bag over his shoulder

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English pich, from Old English pic, from Latin pic-, pix; akin to Greek pissa pitch, Old Church Slavonic pĭcĭlŭ

Verb (2)

Middle English pichen to thrust, drive, fix firmly, probably from Old English *piccan, from Vulgar Latin *piccare — more at pike

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of pitch was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near pitch

Cite this Entry

“Pitch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pitch. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

pitch 1 of 4

noun

1
: a dark sticky substance left over from distilling tar and used in making roofing paper, in waterproofing seams, and in paving
2
: resin from various cone-bearing trees

pitch

2 of 4

verb

: to cover, smear, or treat with pitch

pitch

3 of 4

verb

1
: to erect and fix firmly in place
pitch a tent
2
: to throw usually toward a certain point
pitch hay into a wagon
3
: to present or advertise especially in a high-pressure way
4
a
: to fix or set at a particular pitch or level
pitch a tune too high
a test pitched at a 5th-grade reading level
b
: to cause to be set at a certain angle : slope
5
a
: to fall or plunge forward
pitch from a cliff
b
: to move in such a way that one end falls while the other end rises
a ship pitching in a rough sea
c
: buck entry 2 sense 1a
a pitching horse
6
a
: to throw a ball to a batter
b
: to play ball as a pitcher

pitch

4 of 4

noun

1
: the action or a manner of pitching
especially : an up-and-down movement
2
: slope or degree of slope
3
: the forward distance advanced by a propeller as it makes one revolution
4
: the amount or level of something (as a feeling)
excitement reached a high pitch
5
a
: highness or lowness of sound
b
: a standard frequency for tuning instruments
the oboe sounded the pitch
6
a
: a high-pressure sales talk
b
: recommendation sense 1
made a pitch for tax cuts
7
: the delivery of a baseball by a pitcher to a batter
pitched adjective

Medical Definition

pitch 1 of 2

noun

1
: a black or dark viscous substance obtained as a residue in the distillation of organic materials and especially tars
2
: resin obtained from various conifers and often used medicinally

pitch

2 of 2

noun

: the property of a sound and especially a musical tone that is determined by the frequency of the waves producing it : highness or lowness of sound

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