to cause to pitch

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
WRF used "pitch" to explain "pitch" (See 12 to cause to pitch). I don't understand what "pitch" means in "cause to pitch."

Since the definition is immediately following the 11th definition of "pitch", I guess it means "to cause to make an appeal to" or "force someone to make an appeal to." But it sounds odd.

Perhaps the default is to use the first definition "to set up": to cause to set up. But I don't whether native speakers have such habit.

What does "cause to pitch" mean? "Cause to slant"? Simply a wild guess here.

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WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
pitch:
  1. to approach or court (as a person, company, or the public) in hope of a sale, approval, or interest;
    make an appeal to.
  2. to cause to pitch.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    That makes no sense as it stands. It is tagged Rocketry, so it must refer to some other meaning of 'pitch' in rocketry. General knowledge of languages tells us that a v.t. (we're in the v.t. section) is sometimes the causative of a v.i. Looking down the list of v.i. senses, there's nothing specific about Rocketry, but I happen to know that the nautical terms pitch, roll, and yaw are also used for spacecraft. It's a badly written definition and I needed to use a lot of bits of knowledge to get to the meaning.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Seems to be a driving position of a spacecraft.
    Thank you.

    I looked into the definition because of the following context:

    Riot police turned downtown Hong Kong into a battlefield of tear gas as they pushed back against protesters who tried to storm Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. The protesters hurled bricks, bottles and umbrellas as they clashed with riot police, as the demonstrations became more pitched on Wednesday afternoon.

    Source: NYTimes
    Hong Kong Protest Updates: Police and Protesters in Tense Standoff After Clashes
    Does "became more pitched" mean "became more losing-balance"?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I am not sure why the entry adds "rocketry", and there is some irony in WRF rightly insisting on context, and a dictionary that omits context.

    I suspect this is the solution:

    To pitch:
    II. To cast, throw, or fall forwards.
    12. intransitive. a. To fall headlong/forwards,
    "The uneven thrust of the rockets engines pitched it forward"

    but this comes from:

    14 b. intransitive. Of a ship: to plunge downwards at the bow into the trough of the sea (cf. send v.2). Hence also: to rise and fall alternately at bow and stern; to progress in this manner. Cf. roll v.2 1, yaw v.1 1.

    1800 J. Charnock Hist. Marine Archit. I. viii. 115 A galley of war..being much less liable to pitch in the swell of the sea than a short vessel, would [etc.].
    1840 R. H. Dana Two Years before Mast xxxv. 132 The ship works hard, groaning and creaking, and pitching into a heavy head-sea.

    Note that it is only the ship that pitches - the sea causes the action.

    So we have
    "The heavy sea pitched the ship." = The heavy sea cause the ship to pitch."
    "The uneven thrust of the rockets engines pitch it forward" = "The uneven thrust of the rockets engines cause it to pitch forward"
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The various meanings of 'pitch' are highly confusing in their relationship to each other. The OED lists lots of obsolete senses that link the current ones. Basically we have two ancient groups of senses:

    (A) "set up", as in to pitch a tent, or a pitched battle (where the armies set up positions first).
    (B) "throw", as in a pitchfork and a baseball pitcher

    More modern derivatives somehow from the above:

    (C) "move up and down", as in a ship pitching (and perhaps a pitched toof = sloping roof)
    (D) "promote, try to persuade", as in a sales pitch
    (E) set a musical pitch
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    That makes no sense as it stands. It is tagged Rocketry, so it must refer to some other meaning of 'pitch' in rocketry
    In aeronautics and rocketry, vehicles can spin in three dimensions. The three types of spin are pitch, roll, and yaw. To pitch is to spin on the longitudinal axis.

    See entries 46 and 47 in the Random House Unabridged.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    In aeronautics and rocketry, vehicles can spin in three dimensions. The three types of spin are pitch, roll, and yaw. To pitch is to spin on the longitudinal axis.

    See entries 46 and 47 in the Random House Unabridged.
    46.

    • the nosing of an airplane or spacecraft up or down about a transverse axis.
    • the distance that a given propeller would advance in one revolution.

    46: transverse axis.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    If this is your context, which you should have provided in the OP,
    Riot police turned downtown Hong Kong into a battlefield of tear gas as they pushed back against protesters who tried to storm Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. The protesters hurled bricks, bottles and umbrellas as they clashed with riot police, as the demonstrations became more pitched on Wednesday afternoon.

    Source: NYTimes
    Hong Kong Protest Updates: Police and Protesters in Tense Standoff After Clashes
    then:
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
    pitched battle,
    1. Military a battle in which the orderly arrangement of armed forces and the location have been predetermined.
    2. an encounter in which the antagonists are completely and intensely engaged:The dispute evolved into a pitched battle between management and labor.
    See also pitched battle
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If this is your context, which you should have provided in the OP,
    The context as given in the OP is this:
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
    pitch:
    12 to cause to pitch. [Rocketry]​
    The question is "What does "pitch" mean in this definition of "pitch"
     
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