From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



pith +‎ -y


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɪθi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪθi


pithy (comparative pithier, superlative pithiest)

  1. Concise and meaningful.
    • 1825, William Hazlitt, “Elia, and Geoffrey Crayon”, in The Spirit of the Age [] , London: Printed for Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC:
      Mr. Lamb, on the contrary, being "native to the manner here," though he too has borrowed from previous sources, instead of availing himself of the most popular and admired, has groped out his way, and made his most successful researches among the more obscure and intricate, though certainly not the least pithy or pleasant of our writers.
    • 1873 April 25, “Obituary - Justus Liebig”, in William Crookes, editor, The Chemical News:
      The following passage, which is exquisitely pithy and exquisitely modest, winds up the description:- "In this apparatus there is nothing new but its simplicity and thorough trustworthiness."
    • 1876, Rosina Bulwer Lytton, “On the Gratitude we owe our Enemies”, in Shells from the Sands of Time:
      IT was a pithy saying that of Lorenzo de' Medici, and true as pithy, that we are enjoined to forgive our enemies, but nowhere are we told that we should forgive our friends.
    • 1997, David Foster Wallace, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Kindle edition, Little, Brown Book Group:
      [] , a guy w/o sunglasses or hauteur who throws open the pressurized doors to the Dreamward’s Bridge and galley and Vacuum Sewage System and personally takes me through, offering pithy and quotable answers to questions before I’ve even asked them.
  2. Of, like, or abounding in pith; spongy or having small holes or pits.
    • 1863, Theodore Winthrop, “The Heart of the Andes”, Part 2 – Introduction, published posthumously in Life in the Open Air and other papers,
      Must we know the torrid zone only through travelled bananas, plucked too soon and pithy? or by bottled anacondas? or by the tarry-flavored slang of forecastle-bred paroquets?
    • 1910, Liberty Hyde Bailey, Manual of Gardening, Suggestions and Reminders I: For the North, April,
      Parsnip.—Dig the roots before they grow and become soft and pithy.
    • 1911, “Mushroom”, in Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition:
      To summarize the characters of a true mushroom - it grows only in pastures; it is of small size, dry, and with unchangeable flesh; the cap has a frill; the gills are free from the stem, the spores brown-black or deep purple-black in colour, and the stem solid or slightly pithy.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.