pith

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a usually continuous central strand of spongy tissue in the stems of most vascular plants that probably 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)
3

pith

2 of 2

verb

pithed; pithing; piths

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)

Example Sentences

Noun finally got to the pith of the discussion
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Cut a thin slice from the top and bottom of the orange, then stand it on a board and slice off the skin and white pith. Vogue, 5 Aug. 2022 For example, to lessen the heat of hot peppers, remove pith and seeds. Rita Nader Heikenfeld, The Enquirer, 21 Oct. 2022 Carefully reach in and use your hands and a paring knife to remove the seeds and pith, being careful not to dislodge the stem. Bill Esparza, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2022 What Young and his team decided to do—this aforementioned innovation—is cut off the peel and pith of the oranges, and then juice the fruit to order in a high-speed Breville juicer. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 20 Aug. 2022 To take some of the bite out of a fresh hot pepper, cut out the pith. Leanne Potts, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 June 2022 Zest your lemons before cutting them in half, making sure to avoid the pith (the soft, white part of the lemon). Bryce Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 July 2022 Their fans applauded the quips in the comments and replies sections of their posts, and the pith didn’t stop there. Nardine Saadstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2022 Or, slice peeled orange into rounds, discarding seeds and trimming any remaining pith. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, 20 Jan. 2022
Verb
Then the contestants must pith all brain tissue from the skull — to insure the python is completely dead. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2022 Neither was Trey Wingenter, who warmed up multiple times before pithing an inning Tuesday and three innings in the four-game series in Colorado. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 June 2019 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1805, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of pith was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near pith

Cite this Entry

“Pith.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pith. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

pith

noun

ˈpith
1
a
: the loose spongy tissue that forms the center of the stem in most plants and probably functions chiefly in storage
b
: the spongy inside of a bone or feather
2
: the essential part : core
the pith of the problem

Medical Definition

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 spinal canal

More from Merriam-Webster on pith

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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