Pitted vs Unpitted – which one is SEEDLESS?!

When we are talking about fruit, especially dates, prunes and olives, you will hear the words, pitted and unpitted. What does this mean and how can I remember which one is which? English can be a sneaky language!

Let’s have a look at Wikipedia has to say:

Pitted: (Verb) Having had the pits removed (in regards to fruit)

Unpitted: (adjective) Not pitted. Has not gone through the process of pitting.

Or what about some of the largest date growers and exporters:

Unpitted: Dates in a whole shape with the seed inside is called UNPITTED or WHOLE date.

Pitted Dates: Pitted dates are seedless without pit. The date has been pitted, that is the process of removing the pit.

If this still seems a little strange, there are other English words that follow the same rules when it comes to the prefix un-. Un- means “not”. Think of the common phrase:  “unheard of”. Heard is the verb, unheard is the process of not hearing.

Still a little confusing right? To help you remember, imagine your kind mother has offered you some dates. You can ask, “Have you pitted them?” and she can say:

Yes, I have pitted them.


No, I have not. They are UNPITTED.


  • What is a pitted date?
    • A pitted date is one where the pit has been removed.
  • Does pitted mean with or without pits?
    • Pitted means WITHOUT PITS.
  • Do pitted olives have pits in them?
    • No, pitted olives do not have pits.