The pith of an orange
An example of pith is the spongy material found inside plant stems.
- the soft, spongy tissue in the center of certain plant stems
- the soft core of various other things, as of a bone or feather
- the spongy, fibrous tissue lining the rind and surrounding the sections of an orange, grapefruit, etc.
- the essential part; substance; gist
- importance: now usually in of great pith and moment
- Archaic strength; vigor; force
Origin of pithMiddle English pithe from Old English pitha, akin to Middle Dutch pitte, pit of a fruit, kernel, pith of a tree
- to remove the pith from (a plant stem)
- to pierce or sever the spinal cord of (an animal) in order to kill it or make it insensible for experimental purposes
- The soft, spongy tissue in the center of the stems of most vascular plants, consisting mainly of parenchyma.
- a. The soft inner substance of a feather or hair.b. The spinal cord.
- The essential or central part; the heart or essence: The pith of your argument is controversial.
- Strength; vigor; mettle.
- Significance; importance: matters of great pith.
transitive verbpithed, pith·ing, piths
- To remove the pith from (a plant stem).
- To sever or destroy the spinal cord of, usually by inserting a needle into the vertebral canal.
- To kill (cattle) by cutting the spinal cord.
Origin of pithMiddle English from Old English pitha
- pith helmet
(third-person singular simple present piths, present participle pithing, simple past and past participle pithed)
- To extract the pith from (a plant stem or tree).
- To kill (especially cattle or laboratory animals) by cutting or piercing the spinal cord.