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)

Examples of pith in a Sentence

Noun finally got to the pith of the discussion
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
An expat who has lived in Venice for many years, the lambent Ms. Leon writes police procedurals with pith and grace and case-closing narrative drive. Neal B. Freeman, National Review, 29 May 2024 Using a vegetable peeler, take a bit of the peel of an orange, trying to get as little white pith as possible. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 18 May 2024
Verb
Hendry, a 24-year-old 10th-round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2023, had the honor of pithing live batting practice first. Gary Phillips, New York Daily News, 24 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for pith 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pith.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 20 Jul. 2024.

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

pith

transitive verb
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

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