pivot

noun
piv·​ot | \ ˈpi-vət How to pronounce pivot (audio) \

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pivot

Verb

pivotable \ ˈpi-​və-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce pivot (audio) \ 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The speed with which private equity can suck the life out of a newspaper, and the way that Facebook can unilaterally cause a pivot to video, are just two recent examples of how brittle and monopolized the production of culture has become. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, "The Artist Isn’t Dead," 4 Jan. 2021 Hersman told Pioneer Press that the pandemic required a major pivot by the Park District. Bob Goldsborough, chicagotribune.com, "COVID-19 moves Buffalo Grove Park District to offer ‘royal messages’ in place of its annual Cinderella Ball," 29 Dec. 2020 After a mid-semester quick pivot to distance learning, ANSEP’s annual summer Acceleration Academy, a five-week version of its full-time high school, was its first program of the year to be completely virtual from start to finish. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska students share their secrets to distance learning success," 28 Dec. 2020 Every beat from Rickman in this is a win — from Gruber's shocked reaction to McClane's feet, into his brief moment of indecision, and then a sudden pivot into pretending to be a terrified American hostage. James Hibberd, EW.com, "10 times Alan Rickman was incredible in Die Hard," 24 Dec. 2020 So when Covid-19 hit, Moderna didn’t have to make a huge pivot. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Moderna and BioNTech are changing pharma with drastically different business models," 23 Dec. 2020 But setting up 10 panel blinds on a center pivot in the middle of a milo field and bringing 30 of your friends for one rip at them is just plain dumb. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, "Our Obsession with Greenheads Is Ruining Duck Hunting as We Know It," 18 Dec. 2020 Android Things' failure in the IoT space led to a pivot toward smart speakers and smart displays built by OEMs. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google kills Android Things, its IoT OS, in January," 17 Dec. 2020 Such diversification reflects a broader pivot in energy investing. Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, "Investors Turn to SPACs for Clean-Energy Bets," 11 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tuesday’s deadline for states to certify their elections — once viewed as a pivot point for Republicans to mark Biden's win — came and went without much comment. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "President-elect? GOP may wait for January to say Joe Biden won," 9 Dec. 2020 Olikara, who recently moved back home to Milwaukee, believes Wisconsin is a pivot point for the country. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "So your candidate won or lost. Here's some advice as we emerge from the election," 6 Nov. 2020 Although that decade was marked by the passage of watershed civil-rights legislation and other Great Society initiatives, Putnam describes the sixties as a pivot point for the country. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "Could Joe Biden Actually Bring America Back Together?," 17 Oct. 2020 If the past seven months have taught us anything, it’s that resilience and creativity abound in the movie business, from the comeback of drive-in theaters to the nimble pivot art houses and festivals made to streaming. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "This is not a ‘Tenet’ review. (Here’s why.)," 1 Sep. 2020 His pivot move to create just enough space to get the shot away over Paul George was basketball art. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, "Bubble life proving conducive to growth of Phoenix Suns," 5 Aug. 2020 Places like Seattle, which have spent the last several years working to move people out of homelessness into permanent housing, must now rapidly pivot and focus on simply keeping homeless people alive. Vianna Davila, ProPublica, "Governments Are Telling Americans to Stay at Home. But Thousands of People Don’t Have One.," 25 Mar. 2020 Past the front pivot door, a stroll leads through the living room that flaunts a floor-to-ceiling electric fireplace and cushy seating. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Zen area and cozy nooks bring indoor living outside in Gilbert home. Take a peek," 31 Oct. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some had to pivot to new revenue models immediately. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Here are Alabama’s 2020 Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2020 Many businesses closed, and companies that remained open had to pivot, adapt, and innovate to ensure the safety of their employees and customers while protecting the business. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "Is my workplace being ageist? Ask HR," 30 Dec. 2020 But when Covid-19 struck, the nail salon closed its doors and Logan had to pivot. NBC News, "10 women-owned businesses Know Your Value loves this holiday season," 16 Dec. 2020 While Santa had to pivot, his helpers who are masters at design created ways to reimagine his annual visit during a pandemic. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Retail hasn’t canceled Santa. Kids get it that they need social distancing to see the magical bearded guy," 5 Dec. 2020 If former starter Carson Baker is pressed into service, then the offense will have to pivot to plays more conducive to his skill set than the more mobile Johnson. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, "5 Things to Watch: Aztecs at Colorado," 27 Nov. 2020 Pret a Manger, a chain ubiquitous in cities like London, had to pivot to delivery and special hot evening meals. Jackie Bischof, Quartz, "The happy future of the sad desk lunch," 23 Nov. 2020 This year, Wyatt and her colleagues had to quickly pivot to crisis counseling. Star Tribune, "WomenVenture CEO started in one kind of crisis and is about to leave after another," 20 Nov. 2020 Suburban restaurant owners already had to pivot earlier in the year, as many that had never offered outdoor dining scrambled to set up tables and umbrellas outside. Wendy Fox Weber, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Fall, winter bring new challenges to restaurants that rely on outdoor dining amid COVID-19," 11 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pivot

Time Traveler for pivot

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for pivot

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pivot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pivot. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pivot

pivot

noun
How to pronounce pivot (audio)

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 How to pronounce pivot (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pivot (audio) \

Medical Definition of pivot

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on pivot

What made you want to look up pivot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!