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pit against

Set in direct opposition or competition, as in The civil war pitted brother against brother. This idiom alludes to setting fighting cocks or dogs against one another in a pit. [ Mid-1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • He had speed, wind, and nerve to pit against a young mountain of muscle.

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
  • But stop, let me not fall into the pit against which I was about to warn others.

    Anima Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • He might have stood for one of those northern barbarians whom the Romans loved to pit against their native champions in the arena.

    Riders of the Silences

    John Frederick
  • The Federal authorities were looking for a man of the hour—one whom they might pit against the able and strategic Early.

    The Civil War Through the Camera

    Henry W. (Henry William) Elson
  • He was exceedingly fascinating and a dangerous object to pit against the heart of any woman.

    The Loyalist James Francis Barrett
  • So if at the worst it is inanimate then anyhow we have our poor wills and our poor wits to pit against it.

  • Men with kegs of water, men with pieces of carpet, men with nothing but their hands and their fear to pit against the fire.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh

    Edith Eudora Kohl
  • For a shower of sand is being thrown up from the bottom of the pit against the ant and it is again sliding down.

    Insect Stories Vernon L. Kellogg
  • Stanley began to think his civilized wonders were too tame to pit against those of the African king.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd

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