"resinous substance, wood tar," late 12c., pich, from Old English pic "pitch," from a Germanic borrowing (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian pik, Middle Dutch pik, Dutch pek, Old High German pek, German Pech, Old Norse bik) from Latin pix (genitive picis) "pitch," from PIE root *pi- "sap, juice" (cf. Greek pissa, Lithuanian pikis, Old Church Slavonic piklu "pitch;" see pine (n.)). Applied to pine resins from late 14c. Pitch-black is attested from 1590s; pitch-dark from 1680s.