Origin of pitch

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English picchen to thrust, pierce, set, set up (a tent, etc.), array, throw; perhaps akin to pick1; (noun) derivative of the v.


pitch·a·ble, adjective

Definition for pitch (2 of 2)

[ pich ]
/ pɪtʃ /


any of various dark, tenacious, and viscous substances for caulking and paving, consisting of the residue of the distillation of coal tar or wood tar.
any of certain bitumens, as asphalt: mineral pitch.
any of various resins.
the sap or crude turpentine that exudes from the bark of pines.

verb (used with object)

to smear or cover with pitch.

Origin of pitch

before 900; Middle English pich, Old English pic < Latin pic- (stem of pix), whence also Dutch pek, German Pech; akin to Greek píssa pitch


pitch·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pitch

British Dictionary definitions for pitch (1 of 2)

/ (pɪtʃ) /



Word Origin for pitch

C13 picchen; possibly related to pick 1

British Dictionary definitions for pitch (2 of 2)

/ (pɪtʃ) /


any of various heavy dark viscid substances obtained as a residue from the distillation of tarsSee also coal-tar pitch
any of various similar substances, such as asphalt, occurring as natural deposits
any of various similar substances obtained by distilling certain organic substances so that they are incompletely carbonized
crude turpentine obtained as sap from pine treesRelated adjective: piceous


(tr) to apply pitch to (something)

Word Origin for pitch

Old English pic, from Latin pix
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for pitch

[ pĭch ]

A thick, tarlike substance obtained by distilling coal tar, used for roofing, waterproofing, and paving.
Any of various natural bitumens, such as asphalt, having similar uses.
A resin derived from the sap of a cone-bearing tree, such as a pine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with pitch


In addition to the idioms beginning with pitch

  • pitched battle, a
  • pitch in
  • pitch into
  • pitch on
  • pitch woo

also see:

  • black as night (pitch)
  • in there pitching
  • make a pitch for
  • sales pitch
  • wild pitch
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.