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 2000I 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, 1997He 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 1997Unlike 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
Recent Examples on the WebHis pithy captions bring the Edwardian, Victorian, and late-Rococo designs into the Instagram era.
Sarah Spellings, Vogue, 22 Nov. 2021 The maître d’ facilitates these exchanges from the window of a glass-box foyer; no one leaves without a pithy reminder of the restaurant’s ninety-minute table limit.
The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2021 That’s the definition of a seller’s market — and a pithy indictment of the way America subsidizes homeownership, in an era when a majority of Americans are utterly shut out of it.
New York Times, 12 Nov. 2021 The Great Resignation is a pithy phrase that does work to name an evolving moment around people quitting their jobs.
Kathryn Hymes, Wired, 1 Nov. 2021 This idea isn’t new, even if Cohen expressed it in a memorably pithy and direct way.
Rich Lowry, National Review, 26 Oct. 2021 As is the case with most pithy quotables, this is a bit simplistic; conservatives, after all, know that order is a prerequisite to political liberty.
Nate Hochman, National Review, 24 Oct. 2021 The line is characteristically pithy—and a surprisingly apt description of Anderson’s own work.
David Sims, The Atlantic, 22 Oct. 2021 Offer your opinion, a pithy quote or some insight to help your local business reporter navigate new developments.
Jody Lowe, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021
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.