1. a large, long-handled fork for manually lifting and pitching hay, stalks of grain, etc.
  2. pitchforks, Northern U.S. beggar’s-lice, especially the achenes of Spanish needles.

verb (used with object)

  1. to pitch or throw with or as if with a pitchfork.


  1. a long-handled fork with two or three long curved tines for lifting, turning, or tossing hay

verb (tr)

  1. to use a pitchfork on (something)
  2. to thrust (someone) unwillingly into a position

n.mid-14c., altered (by influence of pichen “to throw, thrust;” see pitch (v.1)) from Middle English pic-forken (c.1200), from pik (see pike (n.4)) + fork (n.). The verb is attested from 1837.

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