pithy

adjective
\ 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 pithily (audio) \ adverb
pithiness \ ˈpi-​thē-​nəs How to pronounce pithiness (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 These are the kinds of pithy, inspiring phrases and quotes that, historically speaking, have the power to steady us through challenging times. David G. Allan, CNN, "Inspirational quotes to get us through the coronavirus shutdown," 26 Mar. 2020 The dialogue between the two women is provocative, pithy, laced with mutual understanding and mutual challenge. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” Is More Than a “Manifesto on the Female Gaze”," 4 Mar. 2020 The virus’s temporary designation—2019-nCoV—is neither catchy nor pithy. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "A Virus With a Deadly Boring Name," 31 Jan. 2020 Victims of rape or abuse are obvious exceptions to this rule, and only a tiny percentage of elective abortions, so save yourself the pithy email. al, "Preventing death by allowing ‘essential’ murder," 1 Apr. 2020 The power of a pithy phrase to sway the ignorant is not to be underestimated. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Right-Wing Ghouls With Graduate Degrees Take on the Pandemic," 25 Mar. 2020 After a short holiday break, The Loop will begin another decade of pithy commentary with a Loop Ten countdown on Jan. 13, 2020. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "Loop Newsmakers of the Year: Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman," 29 Dec. 2019 The unusual instrumentation leads people to the category of jazz, but McGowan has his own different, pithy take on the band’s sound. Chris Varias, Cincinnati.com, "Come on down to Covington and try out 'cave music' with Moon Hooch," 27 Jan. 2020 One of the pithiest summaries of Prohibition came earlier — a scathing assessment from journalist H.L. Mencken in 1925. David Crary, Anchorage Daily News, "Prohibition began 100 years ago, and its legacy remains," 15 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pithy

Time Traveler

The first known use of pithy was in 1529

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Statistics for pithy

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pithy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pithy. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for pithy

pithy

adjective
How to pronounce pithy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pithy

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on pithy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pithy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pithy

Spanish Central: Translation of pithy

Nglish: Translation of pithy for Spanish Speakers

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