Definition of pitfall in English:



  • 1A hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty.

    ‘the pitfalls of buying goods at public auctions’
    • ‘No matter how often you've done this job before there are still hidden snags and pitfalls along the way.’
    • ‘The following cases illustrate a new pitfall that can lead to treatment failure.’
    • ‘For the company considering the decision to outsource, how can potential pitfalls be avoided?’
    • ‘How do you deal with difficult grandchildren while avoiding the pitfalls of interfering or being over-critical?’
    • ‘He bought some books on self-publishing and brushed up on the perils and pitfalls involved.’
    • ‘But it is also clear that there are many methodological pitfalls along the way.’
    • ‘Architecture also serves as a good example domain to understand the pitfalls associated with evolutionary design.’
    • ‘Or do you just want to point out the obvious pitfalls?’
    • ‘Most heads of family businesses know the possible pitfalls ahead but few act in anticipation.’
    • ‘However, as with many technology acquisitions, pitfalls lie at every stage in the process.’
    • ‘The competition fits in with the school's programme of teaching, which highlights the pitfalls of using fossil fuels.’
    • ‘The Business Place is running a course to help sidestep the pitfalls of starting your own company.’
    • ‘There are obvious pitfalls of such behavior, if it ever developed into a habit.’
    • ‘Many foreigners may resolve to avoid such potential pitfalls altogether, by taking their lives and businesses elsewhere.’
    • ‘The series also underlines the pitfalls inherent in a burning desire to become an overnight celebrity.’
    • ‘But I also recognize the need to avoid potential pitfalls.’
    • ‘The lawyer duly warned him of some possible pitfalls, and the book was published.’
    • ‘There will be numerous pitfalls along the way.’
    • ‘Recognizing the origin of the malignant tumor represents another diagnostic pitfall.’
    • ‘Another common pitfall is failing to understand the boss's goals, she said.’
    hazard, danger, risk, peril, difficulty, issue, problem, catch, snag, stumbling block, drawback
    banana skin
    View synonyms
  • 2A covered pit for use as a trap.

    • ‘We sorted 7743 invertebrates from 712 pitfall traps.’
    • ‘Generally, pitfall trap data indicated that darkling beetles significantly preferred unmowed areas to mowed areas, while crickets showed no preference.’
    • ‘During this trial, escapes, and/or predation of click beetles caught in the pitfall traps was common, but was not observed in the pheromone traps.’
    • ‘Carabids typically are sampled using pitfall traps.’
    • ‘The incidental captures may represent species that are either rare, are not habitually ground-dwelling, or that move little and are therefore unlikely to fall into pitfall traps.’
    • ‘The pitfall traps some while others quickly jump away.’
    • ‘Two permanent pitfall traps were located at each monitoring site.’
    • ‘Experimental animals were the first-generation offspring of beetles collected from carrion-baited pitfall traps in the field in May and June 2000.’
    • ‘Thirteen standard, plastic pitfall traps, with soapy solution in the bottom cup, were maintained throughout the stay to sample invertebrates.’
    • ‘Well anyways, it was caught in a trap, a pitfall.’
    • ‘Slugs are attracted to beer, and this weakness can be exploited by deploying pitfall traps baited with beer (real ales with traces of yeast, rather than filtered lagers).’
    • ‘Burying beetles were captured using pitfall traps baited with rotted chicken as outlined below.’
    • ‘The pitfall trap or the nearest pit for turtles at the fence was also recorded in order to calculate a minimum straight-line travel distance from the release point using the Pythagorean theorem.’
    • ‘These are pitfall traps that lure the slugs using beer as a bait (real ale is said to be the most effective).’
    • ‘The summed total of three sampling days for each of the 12 pitfall traps (three traps at four tidal heights) was used for each year in subsequent statistical analyses.’
    • ‘Within each sampling area, 10 pitfall trap sites were created using a cylindrical auger.’
    • ‘French also placed pitfall traps to monitor ground beetles on private farms, where some farmers are growing another type of Bt corn to control corn borer pests.’
    • ‘If she accidentally stumbled across a trap or a pitfall, she would get out of the mess and warn everyone else of the danger.’
    • ‘The 16 to 20 oz. plastic cups used for cold drinks make ideal pitfall traps.’
    • ‘Polyethylene scintillation vials (2.5 cm in diameter and 6 cm in height) with a screw lid were used to create pitfall traps.’