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 Translating Nietzsche is a difficult task, but the swagger of his prose, with its pithy strikes and sudden swerves, can be fairly readily approximated in English. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Nietzsche’s Eternal Return," 7 Oct. 2019 Republicans would be screaming bloody murder, just like the Democrats are doing right now, filling up with air, making big speeches and pithy tweets. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Is Democrats’ decision on Trump impeachment real, or just more natural gas?," 25 Sep. 2019 But when Succession came back this summer, Gerri and her pithy retorts had become a mainstay of the series. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "The Grand Dames of Succession are Powerful—and All Over 60," 25 Sep. 2019 Another is even pithier, consisting simply of an exclamation mark. David Holahan, courant.com, "Visiting Corsica: Up and Down and Around The Mountainous Mediterranean Idyll," 13 Sep. 2019 Often the horrific is contrasted with the absurd and pithy, milliseconds apart, but the effect is more desensitizing than pressure-releasing. John Wenzel, The Know, "Review: “It Chapter Two” is a confused, gory beast of a film," 6 Sep. 2019 And this could be the rare occasion when the Tick can't glean a pithy moral from the adventure. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Ars celebrates 25 years of The Tick by picking our top ten favorite episodes," 10 Sep. 2019 In early August, Bernie Sanders came on for a pithy hour-long episode. Devin Gordon, The Atlantic, "I Tried to Live Like Joe Rogan," 19 Aug. 2019 Not in the language of the internet, where the sharpest barb or the pithiest insult wins the day. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, "When disagreement was common ground," 25 Aug. 2019

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

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for pithy

The first known use of pithy was in 1529

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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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