1

pith

noun \ ˈpith \
Updated on: 25 Jan 2018

Definition of pith

1 a : a usually continuous central strand of spongy tissue in the stems of most vascular plants that prob. functions chiefly in storage
b : any of various loose spongy plant tissues that resemble true pith
c : the soft or spongy interior of a part of the body
2 a : the essential part : core
b : substantial quality (as of meaning)

Examples of pith in a Sentence

  1. finally got to the pith of the discussion

Recent Examples of pith from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pith.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of pith

Middle English, from Old English pitha; akin to Middle Dutch & Middle Low German pit pith, pit

pith Synonyms

Phrases

sum and substance, the long and short (or the long and the short);


2

pith

verb

Definition of pith

transitive verb
1 a : to kill (an animal) by piercing or severing the spinal cord
  • pith cattle
b : to destroy the spinal cord or central nervous system of (an animal, such as a frog) usually by passing a wire or needle up and down the spinal canal
2 : to remove the pith from (a plant stem)

First Known Use of pith

1805


PITH Defined for English Language Learners

pith

noun

Definition of pith for English Language Learners

  • : the white covering that is found under the skin of oranges, lemons, etc.

  • : the most important part of something


PITH Defined for Kids

pith

noun \ ˈpith \

Definition of pith for Students

1 : the loose spongy tissue forming the center of the stem in most plants
2 : the important part
  • the pith of the problem

Medical Dictionary

pith

transitive verb \ ˈpith \

medical Definition of pith

1 : to kill (as cattle) by piercing or severing the spinal cord
2 : to destroy the spinal cord or central nervous system of (as a frog) usually by passing a wire or needle up and down the vertebral canal


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