\ˈpəlp \

Definition of pulp 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the soft, succulent part of a fruit usually composed of mesocarp

(2) : stem pith when soft and spongy

b : a soft mass of vegetable matter (as of apples) from which most of the water has been extracted by pressure

c : the soft sensitive tissue that fills the central cavity of a tooth — see tooth illustration

d : a material prepared by chemical or mechanical means from various materials (such as wood or rags) for use in making paper and cellulose products

2 : pulverized ore mixed with water

3a : pulpy condition or character

b : something in such a condition or having such a character

4 : a magazine or book printed on cheap paper (such as newsprint) and often dealing with sensational material also : sensational or tabloid writing often used attributively pulp fiction


pulped; pulping; pulps

Definition of pulp (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to reduce to pulp pulped unsold copies of the book

2 : to cause to appear pulpy

3 : to deprive of the pulp

intransitive verb

: to become pulp or pulpy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pulp


pulpiness \ ˈpəl-​pē-​nəs \ noun
pulpy \ ˈpəl-​pē \ adjective


pulper noun

Synonyms for pulp

Synonyms: Verb

crush, mash, squash

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of pulp in a Sentence


The fruit has sweet, juicy pulp and hard, black seeds. the pulp of an orange I like to strain the pulp out of my orange juice. The grain was mashed into pulp. The boxes will be turned back into pulp and be made into newspapers. This paper is made from inexpensive wood pulp. He made a little extra money by writing stories for a science fiction pulp.


pulped three oranges to get their juice
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Limited trade wars over lumber, pulp and paper, and other products have flared on and off for decades. Rob Gillies And David Crary, Houston Chronicle, "Canada-US relations at a low after Trudeau-Trump trade tiff," 17 June 2018 With tip of a spoon, scrape out pulp and white pith from inside of tangerine peels and discard. Elaine Johnson, Sunset, "Sticky Tangerine and Basil Chicken," 22 Jan. 2018 Discard pulp and stir in all remaining ingredients except ice, vodka, and celery. Country Living, "Bloody Mary," 27 July 2010 Gebhardt and his brother-in-law were laborers at a pulp mill, but had reputations as toughs with nasty, racist streaks — and rap sheets: Gebhardt had been charged with aggravated assault several times and had spent time in a Georgia penitentiary. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "A black man was murdered for dating a white woman. His killer was sentenced — 35 years later.," 27 June 2018 Still, there was no stopping the heavenly dumping, which turned much of Irvington Boulevard's esplanade to muck, disintegrated reporters' notebooks into pulp and overwhelmed stormed drains. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Undaunted by downpours, Lindale Park holds July 4 parade," 4 July 2018 Nearly 4,000 years ago, a woman and a man were buried together just east of the Volga River in modern-day Russia, with a secret locked away in the pulp of their teeth. Ike Swetlitz, Scientific American, "Ancient Teeth Unlock Plague Secrets," 8 June 2018 Nearly 4,000 years ago, a woman and a man were buried together just east of the Volga River in modern-day Russia, with a secret locked away in the pulp of their teeth. Ike Swetlitz, STAT, "A set of ancient teeth unlock a bacterial secret about the bubonic plague," 8 June 2018 Saguenay’s other original economic base, pulp and paper, has been devastated by decades of U.S. protectionism around softwood lumber. Danielle Bochove, Bloomberg.com, "Trump’s Trade War Looms Over a Canadian Town Built to Supply America," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But tons and tons of books are discarded globally each year, either pulped by publishers, shredded by libraries or tossed out when people empty old houses. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Turkish Garbage Collectors Curate Their Own Library," 23 Feb. 2018 Word was, he had been ordered, at the last minute, to pulp the first run of booklets and to rush out new versions, stripped of cost calculations. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 If the asteroid is large enough, the overpressure would effectively pulp victims' insides. Jasper Hamill, Fox News, "7 terrifying ways that asteroids could wipe out life on our planet revealed," 28 June 2018 After the wood is pulped, it’s turned into a fiber that is then spun into a yarn. Anh-minh Le, San Francisco Chronicle, "Latest Allbirds shoes do actually grow on trees," 18 Apr. 2018 In the second half of the century, entire libraries were transferred to microform, spun on microfilm reels, or served on tiny microfiche platters, while the crumbling originals were thrown away or pulped. Maria Bustillos, Longreads, "The Internet Isn’t Forever," 20 Feb. 2018 Pulping wood turned out to be not all that different from refining oil. Christopher Leonard, chicagotribune.com, "A look at how Koch does business," 5 July 2017 In Sumatra and Borneo, forests have been pulped to make way for palm oil plantations, with devastating consequences for orangutans. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Do Gorillas Even Belong in Zoos? Harambe’s Death Spurs Debate," 6 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pulp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pulp


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1683, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pulp


Middle English pulpe, from Latin pulpa flesh, pulp

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pulp

Statistics for pulp

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pulp

The first known use of pulp was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pulp



English Language Learners Definition of pulp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the inner, juicy part of a fruit or vegetable

: the substance that is left after the liquid has been squeezed from a fruit or vegetable

: a soft, wet substance that is made by crushing something



English Language Learners Definition of pulp (Entry 2 of 2)

: to crush (something) until it is soft and wet : to make (something) into pulp


\ˈpəlp \

Kids Definition of pulp

1 : the soft juicy or moist part of a fruit or vegetable the pulp of an orange

2 : the part of a fruit or vegetable that is left after the liquid has been squeezed from it apple pulp

3 : a material prepared usually from wood or rags and used in making paper

4 : the soft sensitive tissue inside a tooth

5 : a seriously injured or damaged state He was beaten to a pulp.


\ˈpəlp \

Medical Definition of pulp 

: a mass of soft tissue: as

a : dental pulp

b : the characteristic somewhat spongy tissue of the spleen

c : the fleshy portion of the fingertip

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on pulp

What made you want to look up pulp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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