Definition of pitchfork in English:



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

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


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

    heavily, strongly, intensely, in torrents, in sheets, cats and dogs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Thrust (someone) suddenly into an unexpected and difficult situation.
      ‘a woman of ordinary intellect pitchforked into power by circumstances’
      • ‘Being pitchforked into weekend psuedoparenthood is very, very frightening.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This has pitchforked the EC into a role that it was never envisaged for and one that raises a number of questions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That at once is pitchforking me into a full review of the whole of the case.’
      • ‘Several persons unfit to hold public office were pitchforked into high office.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A year after he first played for New South Wales here at the SCG, he was pitchforked into the Australia team at 20.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1978 he set a world record in 400m Freestyle and then came the Moscow triumph which pitchforked him among the greats.’


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).