Pitch (?), n. [OE. pich, AS.
pic, L. pix; akin to Gr. ?.] 1. A
thick, black, lustrous, and sticky substance obtained by boiling down
tar. It is used in calking the seams of ships; also in coating rope,
canvas, wood, ironwork, etc., to preserve them.
He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled
therewith. Ecclus. xiii. 1.
2. (Geol.) See
Amboyna pitch, the resin of Dammara
australis. See Kauri. -- Burgundy
pitch. See under Burgundy. -- Canada
pitch, the resinous exudation of the hemlock tree
(Abies Canadensis); hemlock gum. -- Jew's
pitch, bitumen. -- Mineral pitch.
See Bitumen and Asphalt. -- Pitch
coal (Min.), bituminous coal. --
Pitch peat (Min.), a black homogeneous
peat, with a waxy luster. -- Pitch pine
(Bot.), any one of several species of pine, yielding pitch,
esp. the Pinus rigida of North America.
Pitch, v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Pitched (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Pitching.] [See Pitch, n.]
1. To cover over or smear with pitch.
Gen. vi. 14.
2. Fig.: To darken; to blacken; to
The welkin pitched with sullen
Pitch (?), v. t. [OE. picchen;
akin to E. pick, pike.] 1. To
throw, generally with a definite aim or purpose; to cast; to hurl; to
toss; as, to pitch quoits; to pitch hay; to pitch
2. To thrust or plant in the ground, as stakes
or poles; hence, to fix firmly, as by means of poles; to establish; to
arrange; as, to pitch a tent; to pitch a camp.
3. To set, face, or pave with rubble or
undressed stones, as an embankment or a roadway.
4. To fix or set the tone of; as, to
pitch a tune.
5. To set or fix, as a price or value.
Pitched battle, a general battle; a battle in
which the hostile forces have fixed positions; -- in distinction from
a skirmish. -- To pitch into, to
attack; to assault; to abuse. [Slang]
Pitch, v. i. 1. To
fix or place a tent or temporary habitation; to encamp. "Laban
with his brethren pitched in the Mount of Gilead." Gen.
2. To light; to settle; to come to rest from
The tree whereon they [the bees]
3. To fix one's choise; -- with on or
Pitch upon the best course of life, and custom
will render it the more easy. Tillotson.
4. To plunge or fall; esp., to fall forward;
to decline or slope; as, to pitch from a precipice; the vessel
pitches in a heavy sea; the field pitches toward the
Pitch and pay, an old aphorism which
inculcates ready-money payment, or payment on delivery of goods.
Pitch, n. 1. A
throw; a toss; a cast, as of something from the hand; as, a good
pitch in quoits.
Pitch and toss, a game played by tossing up a
coin, and calling "Heads or tails;" hence: To play pitch
and toss with (anything), to be careless or trust to
luck about it. "To play pitch and toss with the property
of the country." G. Eliot. -- Pitch farthing.
See Chuck farthing, under 5th Chuck.
2. (Cricket) That point of the ground
on which the ball pitches or lights when bowled.
3. A point or peak; the extreme point or
degree of elevation or depression; hence, a limit or bound.
Driven headlong from the pitch of heaven,
Into this deep.
Enterprises of great pitch and
To lowest pitch of abject fortune.
He lived when learning was at its highest
The exact pitch, or limits, where temperance
4. Height; stature. [Obs.]
5. A descent; a fall; a thrusting
6. The point where a declivity begins; hence,
the declivity itself; a descending slope; the degree or rate of
descent or slope; slant; as, a steep pitch in the road; the
pitch of a roof.
7. (Mus.) The relative acuteness or
gravity of a tone, determined by the number of vibrations which
produce it; the place of any tone upon a scale of high and
☞ Musical tones with reference to absolute pitch, are
named after the first seven letters of the alphabet; with reference to
relative pitch, in a series of tones called the scale,
they are called one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight. Eight is
also one of a new scale an octave higher, as one is
eight of a scale an octave lower.
8. (Mining) The limit of ground set to
a miner who receives a share of the ore taken out.
9. (Mech.) (a) The
distance from center to center of any two adjacent teeth of gearing,
measured on the pitch line; -- called also circular
pitch. (b) The length, measured along
the axis, of a complete turn of the thread of a screw, or of the
helical lines of the blades of a screw propeller.
(c) The distance between the centers of holes, as
of rivet holes in boiler plates.
Concert pitch (Mus.), the standard of
pitch used by orchestras, as in concerts, etc. --
Diametral pitch (Gearing), the distance
which bears the same relation to the pitch proper, or circular pitch,
that the diameter of a circle bears to its circumference; it is
sometimes described by the number expressing the quotient obtained by
dividing the number of teeth in a wheel by the diameter of its pitch
circle in inches; as, 4 pitch, 8 pitch, etc. -- Pitch
chain, a chain, as one made of metallic plates, adapted
for working with a sprocket wheel. -- Pitch
line, or Pitch circle (Gearing),
an ideal line, in a toothed gear or rack, bearing such a relation
to a corresponding line in another gear, with which the former works,
that the two lines will have a common velocity as in rolling contact;
it usually cuts the teeth at about the middle of their height, and, in
a circular gear, is a circle concentric with the axis of the gear; the
line, or circle, on which the pitch of teeth is measured. --
Pitch of a roof (Arch.), the inclination
or slope of the sides expressed by the height in parts of the span;
as, one half pitch; whole pitch; or by the height in
parts of the half span, especially among engineers; or by degrees, as
a pitch of 30°, of 45°, etc.; or by the rise and
run, that is, the ratio of the height to the half span; as, a
pitch of six rise to ten run. Equilateral pitch is where
the two sloping sides with the span form an equilateral triangle.
-- Pitch of a plane (Carp.), the slant of
the cutting iron. -- Pitch pipe, a wind
instrument used by choristers in regulating the pitch of a tune.
-- Pitch point (Gearing), the point of
contact of the pitch lines of two gears, or of a rack and pinion,
which work together.
Pitch, n. (Elec.) The
distance between symmetrically arranged or corresponding parts of an
armature, measured along a line, called the pitch line, drawn
around its length. Sometimes half of this distance is called the
Pitch of poles (Elec.), the distance
between a pair of poles of opposite sign.