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[pith-ee] /ˈpɪθ i/
adjective, pithier, pithiest.
brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression; full of vigor, substance, or meaning; terse; forcible:
a pithy observation.
of, like, or abounding in pith.
Origin of pithy
Middle English word dating back to 1300-50; See origin at pith, -y1
Related forms
pithily, adverb
pithiness, noun
1. succinct, pointed, meaty, concise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pithily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had been buried in their brocades, as has been pithily remarked, and forgotten.

    South American Fights and Fighters

    Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • It has pithily been remarked that the age of a man is the age of his blood-vessels.

  • Of course, being a Welshman, his thoughts were pithily expressed.

    Christmas Evans Paxton Hood
  • How true and how pithily put are these, "He that studies his content wants it."

    Proverb Lore F. Edward Hulme
  • "Now that we're down, we don't need it," he remarked, pithily.

  • In commenting on this, Ingersoll very (p. 116) pithily remarks, "The public would have preferred a battle in Canada."

  • As pithily as might be, for she was in no condition for tedious listening, I gave her the history of her nine years' sleep.

    The Lost Continent C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne
  • Douglass has pithily said: "Judge us not from the heights on which you stand, but from the depths from whence we sprung."

    Shadow and Light

    Mifflin Wistar Gibbs
  • "There is a hitch," said Dick, pithily, when Randal joined him in the oak copse at ten o'clock.

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for pithily


adjective pithier, pithiest
terse and full of meaning or substance
of, resembling, or full of pith
Derived Forms
pithily, adverb
pithiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pithily



early 14c., "strong, vigorous," from pith (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "full of substance or significance" is from 1520s; literal meaning "full of pith" not attested until 1560s. Related: Pithily; pithiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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