\ ˈpith How to pronounce pith (audio) \

Definition of pith

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2a : the essential part : core
b : substantial quality (as of meaning)


pithed; pithing; piths

Definition of pith (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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)

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Examples of pith in a Sentence

Noun finally got to the pith of the discussion
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brewers do a nice job of hitting the flavor variations of lemon - fresh, Meyer, pith and so on. Marc Bona, cleveland, "9 beers to sip in June as warm weather hits (photos)," 7 June 2020 This one is all about lemon and grapefruit pith, with healthy carbonation, a delicious drinker made with Citra and Mosaic hops. Marc Bona, cleveland, "10 beers to try in April (photos)," 12 Apr. 2020 This wine is evidence: lemony, waxy and very refreshing, showing grapefruit pith and pine-resin flavors. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "The coronavirus wine diaries, volume 2," 9 Apr. 2020 Blackberries, orange pith and rosemary flavors mix it up in the glass as puckering acidity is matched with solid tannic structure. oregonlive, "6 Oregon pinot noirs you can buy for $20 or less," 6 Feb. 2020 Today, whenever a director makes a movie in which characters talk at length in ways that blend romantic confusion and intellectual pith, it will inevitably be likened to a Rohmer film. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Watch the Films of Éric Rohmer on His Centenary," 20 Mar. 2020 As the name implies, whole oranges go into this cake, using peel, pith, pulp, and juice to create a deeply flavorful and moist crumb that evokes marmalade, but in cake form. Sunset Magazine, "Our Favorite Easy Recipes to Savor the Last of Citrus Season," 26 Feb. 2020 Using a sharp paring knife, carefully trim away the bitter white pith that surrounds each segment. CBS News, "The Dish: Acclaimed pastry chef Claudia Fleming shares her favorite sweet and savory recipes," 15 Feb. 2020 Underneath the fragrant, bright peel, the white pith is soapy and bitter. Washington Post, "8 recipes that add a little citrus sunshine to your winter table," 9 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Padres notes: Machado’s long single; home run record; Paddack back Saturday," 20 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of pith


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


1805, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pith


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

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Time Traveler for pith

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pith

Last Updated

12 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pith.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pith. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for pith


How to pronounce pith (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pith

: the white covering that is found under the skin of oranges, lemons, etc.
: the most important part of something


\ ˈpith How to pronounce pith (audio) \

Kids Definition of pith

1 : the loose spongy tissue forming the center of the stem in most plants
2 : the important part the pith of the problem
\ ˈpith How to pronounce pith (audio) \

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 spinal canal

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More from Merriam-Webster on pith

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pith

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pith

Spanish Central: Translation of pith

Nglish: Translation of pith for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pith

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