pivot

noun
piv·​ot | \ˈpi-vət \

Definition of pivot 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a shaft or pin on which something turns

2a : a person, thing, or factor having a major or central role, function, or effect

b : a key player or position specifically : an offensive position of a basketball player standing usually with back to the basket to relay passes, shoot, or provide a screen for teammates

3 : the action of pivoting especially : the action in basketball of stepping with one foot while keeping the other foot at its point of contact with the floor

pivot

adjective

Definition of pivot (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : turning on or as if on a pivot

2 : pivotal

pivot

verb
pivoted; pivoting; pivots

Definition of pivot (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to turn on or as if on a pivot

transitive verb

1 : to provide with, mount on, or attach by a pivot

2 : to cause to pivot

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Other Words from pivot

Verb

pivotable \ ˈpi-​və-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of pivot in a Sentence

Noun

an issue that is the real pivot of the controversy

Verb

The dancers pivoted on their toes and changed direction. The door hinge pivots around the pin. The quarterback pivoted and threw the ball to the running back.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The pressure brought to bear on North Korea has seemingly kick-started a pivot to the negotiating table —not to ban nukes, but to cut this peace deal with the South. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Doesn’t Want a No-Fly Zone Over the Korean DMZ. Here’s Why.," 18 Oct. 2018 No matter what happens going forward, Sunday night was a coup for the organization, which had a lot to prove after its pivot away from more looks-focused competition. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Without the Swimsuit Competition, Miss America Feels Different This Time Around," 10 Sep. 2018 Giuliani has already admitted his various pivots are part of a broader strategy to discredit the Mueller probe. Jm Rieger, Washington Post, "Did Trump ever want to sit down with Mueller?," 9 July 2018 By any measure, this has been an exhilarating turnabout season for Missouri men’s basketball, a pivot to renewed hope after bleak years of chaos descended into futility. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Dud against Ole Miss must jolt Mizzou | The Kansas City Star," 21 Feb. 2018 And a bearing at the base of the pack lets the hip straps pivot up and down with your stride while keeping the weight stabilized. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "PM Approved: The Backpack Built to Carry the Kitchen Sink," 29 June 2018 Yet Nixon’s strategic pivot brought long-term gains to China with less tangible benefits to the United States. Andrew Preston, The New Republic, "Will Trump Be Nixon in China?," 11 June 2018 The dramatic pivot in McFaul’s story comes in late 2011, when relations between Russia and the United States quickly soured. Daniel Beer, New York Times, "Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?," 6 July 2018 In some eras, Justice X was the pivot in various landmark cases; Justice Y in others; and Justice Z in still others. Akhil Reed Amar, Time, "What Justice Kennedy's Legacy Could Mean for the Future of the Supreme Court," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Green, however, clearly picked up his left pivot foot first, which was missed and likely should’ve been called a traveling violation. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Tempers spike in intense rivalry between Pacers, Cavs with Lance Stephenson in middle," 23 Apr. 2018 Struggling to keep her pivot foot at the top of the arc amid a double-team, her shovel pass found a wide-open Sabally for a layup and a 62-46 lead with 7:32 remaining. Andrew Greif, OregonLive.com, "Ducks women stay put, Beavers move up in AP poll," 22 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The ads come amid the tense and bitter run-up to Tuesday’s midterm elections, as national politics increasingly pivots on fundamental issues of race and identity. Eli Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Republicans attack Jewish candidates, including Kim Schrier, with an age-old caricature: fistfuls of cash," 6 Nov. 2018 The gadget comes in two forms—a 10-inch screen that looks like an Echo Show ($199) and Portal + ($349), a pivoting 15-inch tablet that’s affixed to a stand. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Facebook enters the home assistant market with Portal," 9 Oct. 2018 But just because the BFR has pivoted to the moon doesn't mean SpaceX has lost sight of its original Mars agenda. Condé Nast Traveler, "SpaceX Announcement: Yusaku Maezawa Is First Tourist to Fly to the Moon," 17 Sep. 2018 Executives also highlighted the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 and the Acer Predator Triton 900, a gaming laptop with a pivoting hinge. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "The next Windows 10 has a name and a date: the October 2018 Update, due this fall," 31 Aug. 2018 While Ward and Arpaio are tussling over conservative voters, McSally has been pivoting to the right and toward Trump ahead of the primary election. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Kelli Ward: Donald Trump told me Joe Arpaio 'shouldn't get in' the U.S. Senate race," 1 June 2018 So Darpa hopes the DoD will pivot to constellations of small space objects, sent up so often that the citizenry simply shrugs its collective shoulders at every successful rocket launch. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "Why Darpa Wants Everyone to Launch Tiny Satellites," 30 May 2018 Aside from raising daughter Maddie, who was hospitalized at age 8 after sustaining serious injuries during an ATV accident in February 2017, the actress pivoted to a country music career. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "Zoey 101: Where Is the Cast 10 Years After the Show's End?," 13 May 2018 The next stage of her recovery will be cutting and pivoting. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stewart: Homestead's Chloe Marotta gets chance for one last curtain call on Senior Night," 12 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pivot.' 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 pivot

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1841, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for pivot

Noun

French

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Statistics for pivot

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pivot

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

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More Definitions for pivot

pivot

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pivot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a pin or shaft on which a mechanical part turns

: the action of turning around a point : the action of pivoting

: a person or thing that is central or important to someone or something else

pivot

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pivot (Entry 2 of 2)

: to turn on or around a central point

pivot

noun
piv·​ot | \ˈpi-vət \

Kids Definition of pivot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a shaft or pin with a pointed end on which something turns

2 : the action or an instance of turning around on a point

pivot

verb
pivoted; pivoting

Kids Definition of pivot (Entry 2 of 2)

: to turn on or as if on a pivot : turn around on a central point pivot on one foot

pivot

noun
piv·​ot | \ˈpiv-ət \

Medical Definition of pivot 

: a usually metallic pin holding an artificial crown to the root of a tooth

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Comments on pivot

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