Pit

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PIT, fossa. A hole dug in the earth, which was filled with water, and in which women thieves were drowned, instead of being hung. The punishment of the pit was formerly common in Scotland.

References in classic literature ?
The late king of Prussia was more than once pitted against his imperial sovereign; and commonly proved an overmatch for him.
Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate parts of a whole, which means that we shall be many to the enemy's few.
He was eighteen, only three years older than you are, Raoul, when I saw him set to work, pitted against tried men.
It looked like the pitted head, of a decaying toadstool.
He heard Fanshaw add that his country was full of such quaint fables and idioms; it was the very home of romance; he even pitted this part of Cornwall against Devonshire, as a claimant to the laurels of Elizabethan seamanship.
They were rapidly disappearing when it occurred to me to follow them, and so, hurling caution to the winds, I sprang across the meadow in their wake with leaps and bounds even more prodigious than their own, for the muscles of an athletic Earth man produce remarkable results when pitted against the lesser gravity and air pressure of Mars.
This was not the first time that I had faced the ferocious Barsoomian lion, but never had I been pitted, single-handed, against a full dozen of them.