The definition of a pitfall is a danger, downside or a trap that may be concealed or that you may not be aware of.
Unexpected repair costs are an example of a pitfall of home ownership.
- a lightly covered pit used as a trap for animals
- an unsuspected difficulty, danger, or error that one may fall into
Origin of pitfallMiddle English pitfalle from pit, pit + falle, a trap from Old English fealle from feallan, to fall
- An unapparent source of trouble or danger; a hidden hazard: “potential pitfalls stemming from their optimistic inflation assumptions” ( New York Times )
- A concealed hole in the ground that serves as a trap.
- a potential problem, hazard, or danger that is easily encountered but not immediately obvious.
- It's usually a simple task, but you should know the pitfalls before you attempt it yourself.
- A type of trap consisting of a concealed hole in the ground: victims fall into the hole and are unable to escape
- (computing) An anti-pattern.