What does PITH mean?

Definitions for PITH

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word PITH.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pithnoun

    soft spongelike central cylinder of the stems of most flowering plants

  2. kernel, substance, core, center, centre, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-grittyverb

    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience

    "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story"

  3. pithverb

    remove the pith from (a plant)


  1. pithnoun

    The soft spongy substance in the center of the stems of many plants and trees.

  2. pithnoun

    The essential or vital part.

    The pith of my idea is truth.

  3. pithverb

    To extract the pith from (a plant stem or tree).

  4. pithverb

    To kill (especially cattle or laboratory animals) by cutting or piercing the spinal cord.

  5. Etymology: piþa, from piþan (compare West Frisian piid 'pulp, kernel', Dutch peen 'carrot', Low German Peddik 'pulp, core'), from earlier (oblique). Doublet of pit#Etymology_2. The verb meaning "to kill by cutting or piercing the spinal cord" is attested 1805.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PITHnoun

    Etymology: pitte, Dutch.

    If a cion, fit to be set in the ground, hath the pith finely taken forth, and not altogether, but some of it left, it will bear a fruit with little or no core. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    Her solid bones convert to solid wood,
    To pith her marrow, and to sap her blood. Dryden.

    As doth the pith, which lest our bodies slack,
    Strings fast the little bones of neck and back;
    So by the soul doth death string heav’n and earth. John Donne.

    The vertebres are all perforated in the middle, with a large hole for the spinal marrow or pith to pass along. John Ray.

    Leave your England,
    Guarded with grandsires, babies and old women,
    Or pass’d, or not arriv’d to pith and puissance. William Shakespeare.

    Since these arms of mine had seven years pith. William Shakespeare.

    That’s my pith of business
    ’Twixt you and your poor brother. William Shakespeare.

    Enterprizes of great pith and moment,
    With this regard their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    The owner of a foul disease,
    To keep it from divulging, lets it feed
    Ev’n on the pith of life. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.


  1. pith

    Pith is the soft, spongy substance in the center of the stems of most flowering plants. It functions mainly for storage and to provide structural support to the stem. In another context, pith can also refer to the essential or central part of something, often used metaphorically to indicate the most important aspect of an argument, story, or idea.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pithnoun

    the soft spongy substance in the center of the stems of many plants and trees, especially those of the dicotyledonous or exogenous classes. It consists of cellular tissue

  2. Pithnoun

    the spongy interior substance of a feather

  3. Pithnoun

    the spinal cord; the marrow

  4. Pithnoun

    hence: The which contains the strength of life; the vital or essential part; concentrated force; vigor; strength; importance; as, the speech lacked pith

  5. Pithverb

    to destroy the central nervous system of (an animal, as a frog), as by passing a stout wire or needle up and down the vertebral canal

  6. Etymology: [AS. pia; akin to D. pit pith, kernel, LG. peddik. Cf. Pit a kernel.]


  1. Pith

    Pith, or medulla, is a tissue in the stems of vascular plants. Pith is composed of soft, spongy parenchyma cells, which store and transport nutrients throughout the plant. In eudicots, pith is located in the center of the stem. In monocots, it extends also into flowering stems and roots. The pith is encircled by a ring of xylem; outside followed by a ring of phloem. While new pith growth is usually white or pale in color, as the tissue ages it commonly darkens to a deeper brown color. In trees pith is generally present in young growth, but in the trunk and older branches the pith often gets replaced - in great part - by xylem. In some plants, the pith in the middle of the stem may dry out and disintegrate, resulting in a hollow stem. A few plants, such as walnuts, have distinctive chambered pith with numerous short cavities. The cells in the peripheral parts of the pith may, in some plants, develop to be different from cells in the rest of the pith. This layer of cells is then called the perimedullary region of the pithamus. An example of this can be observed in Hedera helix, a species of ivy. The term pith is also used to refer to the pale, spongy inner layer of the rind - more properly called mesocarp or albedo - of citrus fruits and other hesperidia. The word comes from the Old English word piþa, meaning substance, akin to Middle Dutch pitt, meaning the pit of a fruit.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pith

    pith, n. the marrow or soft substance in the centre of the stems of dicotyledonous plants: force or energy: importance: condensed substance: quintessence.—n. Pith′-ball, a pellet of pith.—adv. Pith′ily.—n. Pith′iness.—adj. Pith′less, wanting pith, force, or energy.—n. Pith′-pā′per, a thin sheet cut from pith for paper: rice-paper.—adj. Pith′y, full of pith: forcible: strong: energetic. [A.S. pitha; Dut. pit, marrow.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Pith

    A light and soft cellular tissue forming the central core of exogenous trees and plants. In the older parts of the tree the woody tissue often encroaches in and partly obliterates it. For electrical pith-balls, the pith of the elder, of corn, or, best of all, of sun-flower stems is used.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. pith

    Well known as the medullary part of the stem of a plant; but figuratively, it is used to express strength and courage.

Suggested Resources

  1. PITH

    What does PITH stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the PITH acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of PITH in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of PITH in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

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"PITH." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/PITH>.

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