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 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 The one hiccup in this pithy and persuasive work is a detour denouncing the broad scope of presidential authority. Washington Post, "A fed-up judge condemns the inequities in America’s legal system," 19 Feb. 2021 But to unite a party of many parts and help win over swing voters of modest means, such sentiments need to be translated into a pithy appeal the GOP cannot match. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "How the Democratic Party Can Create a Majoritarian Coalition," 11 Feb. 2021 Today, though, he is mostly read as an influence on Nietzsche or raided for his numerous pithy observations about almost everything. Washington Post, "On the Suffering of the World," 13 Jan. 2021 Norman’s recommendations are interesting in their own right, as are Her Majesty’s pithy comments on famous authors. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 That pithy motto was coined by Leo Durocher, a baseball manager noted for exulting at injuring his opponents and for cheating his players at cards. The Economist, "Bartleby Why fair play pays," 12 Dec. 2020 Almost instantaneously, our Ishmael proves herself to be aggressively funny, ruthlessly pithy, low-key poetic and high-def mischievous — all within the space of seven seconds and 14 words. Washington Post, "Rico Nasty will show you what mischief sounds like," 10 Dec. 2020 The Washington region’s favorite canvas for pithy commentary bears a new message, one that gives voice to a sentiment more than half the country apparently feels. Washington Post, "From ‘Surrender Dorothy’ to ‘Surrender Donald’: The Beltway bridge has a new message," 5 Nov. 2020 Take as pithy proof when, during our Zoom interview, Johansson chats off-screen with an assistant about the cooking time on a dish. Mitchell S. Jackson, Marie Claire, "Marvelous Women: Scarlett Johansson & Florence Pugh," 29 Oct. 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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Statistics for pithy

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pithy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pithy. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for pithy

pithy

adjective

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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