\ ˈpi-thē How to pronounce pithy (audio) \
pithier; pithiest

Definition of pithy

1 : consisting of or abounding in pith
2 : having substance and point : tersely cogent

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Other Words from pithy

pithily \ ˈpi-​thə-​lē How to pronounce pithy (audio) \ adverb
pithiness \ ˈpi-​thē-​nəs How to pronounce pithy (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for pithy

concise, terse, succinct, laconic, summary, pithy, compendious mean very brief in statement or expression. concise suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative. a concise description terse implies pointed conciseness. a terse reply succinct implies the greatest possible compression. a succinct letter of resignation laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude, indifferent, or mysterious. an aloof and laconic stranger summary suggests the statement of main points with no elaboration or explanation. a summary listing of the year's main events pithy adds to succinct or terse the implication of richness of meaning or substance. a comedy sharpened by pithy one-liners compendious applies to what is at once full in scope and brief and concise in treatment. a compendious dictionary

Examples of pithy in a Sentence

… Gore's prowess had been blurred by his performance in the Quayle debate and by his four preceding years in the Senate, where the prevailing style is indirect and woolly-swathed in layers of "my distinguished colleague" and short on zingers and pithy remarks. — James Fallows, Atlantic, July 2000 I read my poems in L.A., chatted up the literary set, waxed pithy and beleaguered at the book signings and wine and cheese receptions. — Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking, 1997 He does not hold forth to his family or to his court of old men; he listens,  … then delivers short, pithy edicts that are then followed. — Guy Martin, Esquire, June 1997 Unlike a great many other science books, the pithy, lyrical text never bogs down in a mudflat of facts. — Leonard S. Marcus, Parenting, December/January 1996 The critic gave the film a pithy review. The book is filled with pithy sayings about love and loss. a pithy little Mother's Day card
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Recent Examples on the Web For a lot of us, that pithy remark hasn’t felt particularly true over the past year-plus, so here’s a reality check — the movie turns 35 next week. BostonGlobe.com, 3 June 2021 Like sweetened grapefruit juice, the sugar is well-balanced by acidity and pithy bitterness. Michael Agnew, Star Tribune, 2 June 2021 Vaclav Smil put this point in his usual pithy way in the form of a commandment. Jemma Green, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Luckily, Spotify Is Surveillance is much more than a pithy slogan. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 7 May 2021 Most of a chile’s capsaicin — as much as 90 percent — is present in the pithy membranes inside the pepper and not the seeds or flesh, although both may pick up a bit of capsaicin from coming into contact with those spicy bits. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 24 May 2021 And in Missouri, TerraVox has made a pleasantly bitter, pithy white wine from the Herbemont grape that smells like fresh hay. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 May 2021 Steel yourself for pithy aphorisms, sage advice, and a dose of imposter syndrome from some of the greatest (or most famous) minds available to the US college system. Tom Page And Sana Noor Haq, CNN, 13 May 2021 Zucker jousted publicly with the White House and with Trump, his onetime friend, while CNN spokespeople called out the president in pithy replies on Twitter. Washington Post, 12 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pithy.' 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 pithy

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pithy

see pith entry 1

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Statistics for pithy

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pithy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pithy. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for pithy



English Language Learners Definition of pithy

: using few words in a clever and effective way
: resembling or having a lot of pith

More from Merriam-Webster on pithy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pithy

Nglish: Translation of pithy for Spanish Speakers


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