Definition of pitchfork in English:



  • A farm tool with a long handle and two sharp metal prongs, used for lifting hay.

    • ‘Jaro looked through a crack, and saw most of the town outside, waving pitchforks.’
    • ‘He arranged two lines of men with flails, clubs, pitchforks, sickles, and reaping hooks.’
    • ‘Charles took it and tied it around the pitchfork's handle.’
    • ‘The pitchfork, with its twin references to farming and going to hell in a handcart, aptly remains.’
    • ‘Startled, Jack leaped backward, stepping on a dirty pitchfork, and got slapped in the back by its handle.’
    • ‘Squirming, goggle-eyed demons equipped with whips and pitchforks lurk in every crevice.’
    • ‘I placed them outside of her stall and went to get some fresh hay and a pitchfork to clean the stall.’
    • ‘A couple of farm workers had collected pitchforks.’
    • ‘Some used plows, pitchforks, and smiths' hammers.’
    • ‘I saw people washing clothes in a stream and elderly women tossing hay with pitchforks.’
    • ‘Some villagers fought back with whatever they could find, pitchforks, axes, swords, anything.’
    • ‘My friends would hunt me down with sharp jewelry and chap sticks if no pitchforks were available.’
    • ‘‘Make yourself useful,’ I said, dumping a pitchfork full of manure and straw into the wheelbarrow.’
    • ‘They were all holding low quality weapons, ranging from rusty shortswords and axes, to common farming tools like rakes, hoes and pitchforks.’
    • ‘Kathryn grinned and placed the pitchfork in the wheelbarrow, which she moved to the manure pile quickly.’
    • ‘In the end, he had to drag her out of the house, only to be greeted by a flock of angry looking villagers, mostly holding pitchforks and axes.’
    • ‘The whole idea that the entire country took to arms with pitchforks and scythes is also a fallacy.’
    • ‘The crowd was made up ‘mostly of women,’ armed with clubs, axes, pitchforks, and firearms and carrying icons and banners.’
    • ‘However, here in North Yorkshire do we apply the Luddite mentality and return to the pitchfork and scythe?’
    • ‘It does have some decent scenes of horror, including an impaling with a pitchfork and a sickle.’


  • 1with object and adverbial of direction Lift with a pitchfork.

    ‘once mixed, the sticky mass is pitchforked up on to the walls’
    heavily, strongly, intensely, in torrents, in sheets, cats and dogs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Thrust (someone) suddenly into an unexpected and difficult situation.
      ‘he was pitchforked into the job for six months’
      • ‘A year after he first played for New South Wales here at the SCG, he was pitchforked into the Australia team at 20.’
      • ‘In 1978 he set a world record in 400m Freestyle and then came the Moscow triumph which pitchforked him among the greats.’
      • ‘Being pitchforked into weekend psuedoparenthood is very, very frightening.’
      • ‘Even now, as the so-called leader of the NDA, his opinion was that ex-Ministers who lost the Lok Sabha elections should not be pitchforked into the Rajya Sabha.’
      • ‘Several persons unfit to hold public office were pitchforked into high office.’
      • ‘And being suddenly pitchforked into that select group of classmates after twenty years away from such environment, I immediately felt at home and quickly realized I readily could keep up with the group.’
      • ‘The youngster, pitchforked in 2002 from nowhere into a National senior camp for a Four-Nation event, had attracted Indian Hockey Federation chief K. P. S. Gill's attention on television then.’
      • ‘This has pitchforked the EC into a role that it was never envisaged for and one that raises a number of questions.’
      • ‘With Sachin Tendulkar out through injury and Sourav Ganguly likely to stay on the sidelines, it will be interesting to see who Chappell pitchforks into the opening slot alongside Virender Sehwag.’
      • ‘Tiger Pataudi, following the nasty injury to Nari Contractor in the West Indies, was pitchforked when he did not even know Indian cricket so well.’
      • ‘That at once is pitchforking me into a full review of the whole of the case.’
      • ‘Declan, a young Irishman, noticeable for his startlingly burnished red hair, on the run from the law, and Lin, one of a small Chinese party searching for gold, are pitchforked into a macrocosm of greed, discomfort and ruthlessness.’


Late Middle English: from earlier pickfork, influenced by the verb pitch (because the tool is used for ‘pitching’ or throwing sheaves on to a stack).