pitch 2 (pĭch)
v. pitched, pitch·ing, pitch·es
a. To throw, usually with careful aim. See Synonyms at throw.
b. To discard by throwing: pitched my worn-out sneakers.
a. To throw (the ball) from the mound to the batter.
b. To play (a game or part of a game) as pitcher.
c. To assign as pitcher: The manager decided to pitch a left-hander.
3. To erect or establish; set up: pitched a tent; pitch camp.
4. To set firmly; implant; embed: pitched stakes in the ground.
5. To set at a specified downward slant: pitched the roof at a steep angle.
a. To set at a particular level, degree, or quality: pitched her expectations too high.
b. Music To set the pitch or key of.
c. To adapt so as to be applicable; direct: pitched his speech to the teenagers in the audience.
7. Informal To attempt to promote or sell, often in a high-pressure manner: "showed up on local TV to pitch their views" (Business Week).
8. Sports To hit (a golf ball) in a high arc with backspin so that it does not roll very far after striking the ground.
a. To lead (a card), thus establishing the trump suit.
b. To discard (a card other than a trump and different in suit from the card led).
1. To throw or toss something, such as a ball, horseshoe, or bale.
2. Baseball To play in the position of pitcher.
3. To plunge headlong: He pitched over the railing.
a. To stumble around; lurch.
b. To buck, as a horse.
a. Nautical To dip bow and stern alternately.
b. To oscillate about a lateral axis so that the nose lifts or descends in relation to the tail. Used of an aircraft.
c. To oscillate about a lateral axis that is both perpendicular to the longitudinal axis and horizontal to the earth. Used of a missile or spacecraft.
6. To slope downward: The hill pitches steeply.
7. To set up living quarters; encamp; settle.
8. Sports To hit a golf ball in a high arc with backspin so that it does not roll very far after striking the ground.
1. The act or an instance of pitching.
a. A throw of the ball by the pitcher to the batter.
b. A ball so thrown: hit the pitch into left field.
3. Sports A playing field. Also called wicket.
a. Nautical The alternate dip and rise of a vessel's bow and stern.
b. The alternate lift and descent of the nose and tail of an airplane.
a. A steep slope.
b. The degree of such a slope.
c. Sports A single interval between ledges or anchors used as belaying points in mountaineering: a climb of six pitches.
a. The angle of a roof.
b. The highest point of a structure: the pitch of an arch.
7. A level or degree, as of intensity: worked at a feverish pitch.
a. Acoustics The distinctive quality of a sound, dependent primarily on the frequency of the sound waves produced by its source.
b. Music The relative position of a tone within a range of musical sounds, as determined by this quality.
c. Music Any of various standards for this quality associating each tone with a particular frequency.
a. The distance traveled by a machine screw in a single revolution.
b. The distance between two corresponding points on adjacent screw threads or gear teeth.
c. The distance between two corresponding points on a helix.
10. The distance that a propeller would travel in an ideal medium during one complete revolution, measured parallel to the shaft of the propeller.
a. A line of talk designed to persuade: "[his] pious pitch for ... austerity" (Boston Globe).
b. An advertisement.
12. Chiefly British The stand of a vendor or hawker.
13. Games See seven-up.
14. Printing The density of characters in a printed line, usually expressed as characters per inch.
pitch in Informal
1. To set to work vigorously.
2. To join forces with others; help or cooperate.
pitch into Informal
To attack verbally or physically; assault.
Informal To succeed in choosing or achieving, usually quickly: pitched on the ideal solution.
[Middle English pichen, probably from Old English *piccean, causative of *pīcian, to prick.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.