Old English piÃ¾a, plant pith, gist, from West Germanic pithan-; the verb meaning to kill by cutting or piercing the spinal cord is attested 1805.
- The soft spongy substance in the center of the stems of many plants and trees.
- figuratively The essential or vital part of an idea or theory or something else.
#:the pith of my idea is ...
(essential or necessary part): core, essence, general tenor, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, quintessence, soul, spirit, stuff, substance
- To extract the pith from (a plant stem or tree).
- To kill (especially cattle or laboratory animals) by cutting or piercing the spinal cord.