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Borrowing from French pivot, probably connected with Italian pivolo (peg, pin), diminutive of piva, pipa (pipe).



pivot (plural pivots)

  1. A thing on which something turns; specifically a metal pointed pin or short shaft in machinery, such as the end of an axle or spindle.
  2. Something or someone having a paramount significance in a certain situation.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, The Tragedy in Dartmoor Terrace[1]:
      “The story of this adoption is, of course, the pivot round which all the circumstances of the mysterious tragedy revolved. Mrs. Yule had an only son, namely, William, to whom she was passionately attached ; but, like many a fond mother, she had the desire of mapping out that son's future entirely according to her own ideas. […]”
  3. Act of turning on one foot.
    • 2012, Banking reform: Sticking together, The Economist, 18th August issue
      Sandy Weill was the man who stitched Citigroup together in the 1990s and in the process helped bury the Glass-Steagall act, a Depression-era law separating retail and investment banking. Last month he performed a perfect pivot: he now wants regulators to undo his previous work.
  4. (military) The officer or soldier who simply turns in his place while the company or line moves around him in wheeling.
  5. (roller derby) A player with responsibility for co-ordinating their team in a particular jam.
  6. (computing) An element of a set to be sorted that is chosen as a midpoint, so as to divide the other elements into two groups to be dealt with recursively.

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pivot (third-person singular simple present pivots, present participle pivoting, simple past and past participle pivoted)

  1. (intransitive) To turn on an exact spot.



French Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fr



pivot m (plural pivots)

  1. pivot
  2. fulcrum
  3. lynchpin
  4. (basketball) center

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