- a large, long-handled fork for manually lifting and pitching hay, stalks of grain, etc.
- pitchforks, Northern U.S. beggar’s-lice, especially the achenes of Spanish needles.
verb (used with object)
- to pitch or throw with or as if with a pitchfork.
- a long-handled fork with two or three long curved tines for lifting, turning, or tossing hay
- to use a pitchfork on (something)
- 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.