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[puhlp] /pʌlp/
the soft, juicy, edible part of a fruit.
the pith of the stem of a plant.
a soft or fleshy part of an animal body.
Also called dental pulp. the inner substance of the tooth, containing arteries, veins, and lymphatic and nerve tissue that communicate with their respective vascular, lymph, and nerve systems.
any soft, moist, slightly cohering mass, as that into which linen, wood, etc., are converted in the making of paper.
a magazine or book printed on rough, low-quality paper made of wood pulp or rags, and usually containing sensational and lurid stories, articles, etc.
Compare slick1 (def 9).
  1. ore pulverized and mixed with water.
  2. dry crushed ore.
verb (used with object)
to reduce to pulp.
to reduce (printed papers, books, etc.) to pulp for use in making new paper.
to remove the pulp from.
verb (used without object)
to become reduced to pulp.
Origin of pulp
1555-65; earlier pulpe < Latin pulpa flesh, pulp of fruit
Related forms
pulper, noun
pulpless, adjective
pulplike, adjective
depulp, verb (used with object)
unpulped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for pulp


soft or fleshy plant tissue, such as the succulent part of a fleshy fruit
a moist mixture of cellulose fibres, as obtained from wood, from which paper is made
  1. a magazine or book containing trite or sensational material, and usually printed on cheap rough paper
  2. (as modifier): a pulp novel
(dentistry) the soft innermost part of a tooth, containing nerves and blood vessels
any soft soggy mass or substance
(mining) pulverized ore, esp when mixed with water
to reduce (a material or solid substance) to pulp or (of a material or solid substance) to be reduced to pulp
(transitive) to remove the pulp from (fruit)
Derived Forms
pulper, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin pulpa
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 pulp

c.1400, "fleshy part of a fruit or plant," from Latin pulpa "animal or plant pulp; pith of wood," earlier *pelpa, perhaps from the same root as pulvis "dust," pollen "fine flour" (see pollen); extended to other similar substances by early 15c. The adjective meaning "sensational" is from pulp magazine (1931), so called from pulp in sense of "type of rough paper used in cheaply made magazines and books" (1727). As a genre name, pulp fiction attested by 1943 (pulp writer "writer of pulp fiction" was in use by 1939). The opposite adjective in reference to magazines was slick.


1660s "reduce to pulp" (implied in pulping), from pulp (n.). As "to remove the pulp from," from 1791. Related: Pulped.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pulp in Medicine

pulp (pŭlp)

  1. A soft, moist, shapeless mass of matter.

  2. Dental pulp.

  3. The soft, moist part of fruit.

pulp'ous (pŭl'pəs) or pulp'y adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pulp in Science
  1. The soft tissue forming the inner structure of a tooth and containing nerves and blood vessels.

  2. The soft moist part of a fruit, especially a drupe or pome.

  3. The soft pith forming the contents of the stem of a plant.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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pulp in Culture

pulp definition

The soft tissue, containing blood vessels and nerves, that makes up the interior of the tooth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pulp



: a pulp romance


A magazine printed on rough paper and devoted to adventure, science fiction, cowboy stories, rude erotica, etc (1931+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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