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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web Rigsby has more than a million followers on Instagram, has appeared as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and his pithy lines—including that one about Britney—have spawned a cottage industry of Etsy stores hawking mugs featuring his quotes. Greg Presto, Men's Health, 18 May 2022 The goal was to craft a form that embodies the qualities encouraged by the content: pithy nuggets demanding careful thought, mental experimentation, and wide-ranging curiosity about morality and psychology. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, 11 May 2022 Some fans are drawn to the solidarity found in songs about screwing up and the pithy reactions to one’s mess. Washington Post, 8 May 2022 Chad Brown, the trainer of Zandon, was pithy in his reaction. John Cherwaspecial Contributor, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2022 Hoping to end that drought, architects of the U.S. men’s roster for the Beijing Games reached back to one of Brooks’ many memorably pithy sayings: The legs feed the wolf. Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2022 Grapefruit, maybe some stone fruit notes, just a little pithy, with a creaminess on the finish in this hazy IPA. cleveland, 3 Apr. 2022 There are pithy little hints in the captions of the first slide, and the answers are on the second slide of each entry. Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2022 Supreme Court confirmation battles are typically remembered for a few searing or pithy exchanges -- or, just as likely, not at all. Byrick Klein, ABC News, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of pithy

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pithy

see pith entry 1

Learn More About pithy

Dictionary Entries Near pithy

pithworm

pithy

pithy gall

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pithy

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pithy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pithy. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on pithy

Nglish: Translation of pithy for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!