pit·​fall | \ ˈpit-ˌfȯl How to pronounce pitfall (audio) \

Definition of pitfall

1 : trap, snare specifically : a pit flimsily covered or camouflaged and used to capture and hold animals or men
2 : a hidden or not easily recognized danger or difficulty

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Examples of pitfall in a Sentence

buying a house can be full of pitfalls for the unwary one of the pitfalls of ignorance is that people will also assume you're stupid
Recent Examples on the Web One such pitfall is the sample Caddyfile presented at https://caddyserver.com/docs/caddyfile. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Caddy offers TLS, HTTPS, and more in one dependency-free Go Web server," 6 May 2020 The hurdles However, experts also warn of the following pitfalls before this business model: Getting the product-mix right: Catering to kirana customers is not easy. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Even with WhatsApp’s 400 million Indian users, JioMart’s success is not guaranteed," 5 May 2020 Worst pitfall of the job: Early-morning flights. 11. Marie Claire, "'We're Here' Star Shangela Has Some Tips for Handling a Career Setback," 23 Apr. 2020 Experts warn of four main pitfalls: subjects can be prone to suggestion, potentially responding to cues or offering inaccurate information to please the hypnotist. Dallas Morning News, "Texas law enforcement uses hypnosis to investigate crimes. Does it uncover the truth?," 8 Apr. 2020 The market tumult has highlighted a potential double hazard for individual investors: the pitfalls of leveraged funds, and the need to read the fine print in any investment. Simon Constable, WSJ, "A 3x ETF Shows the Perils of Leverage," 6 Apr. 2020 Those that were ready may hold clues for the promise, and pitfalls, of e-learning. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping education," 29 Mar. 2020 The social experiment of teleworking en masse has unearthed pitfalls, comical moments and potential opportunities. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "Coming to a couch near you: A brave new world of teleworking in the coronavirus era," 6 Mar. 2020 The example of Google parent Alphabet illustrates the recent payoff, and potential pitfalls, of making huge buybacks at high prices. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "3 reasons ballooning stock buybacks are worrisome," 12 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pitfall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pitfall

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for pitfall

Time Traveler

The first known use of pitfall was in the 14th century

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Statistics for pitfall

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pitfall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pitfall. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for pitfall


How to pronounce pitfall (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pitfall

: a danger or problem that is hidden or not obvious at first


pit·​fall | \ ˈpit-ˌfȯl How to pronounce pitfall (audio) \

Kids Definition of pitfall

1 : a covered or camouflaged pit used to capture animals or people
2 : a danger or difficulty that is hidden or is not easily recognized He soon learned the pitfalls of publishing.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pitfall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pitfall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pitfall

Spanish Central: Translation of pitfall

Nglish: Translation of pitfall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pitfall for Arabic Speakers

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