from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Botany The soft, spongelike, central cylinder of the stems of most flowering plants, composed mainly of parenchyma.
- n. Zoology The soft inner substance of a feather or hair.
- n. The essential or central part; the heart or essence. See Synonyms at substance.
- n. Strength; vigor; mettle.
- n. Significance; importance.
- n. Archaic Spinal cord or bone marrow.
- transitive v. To remove the pith from (a plant stem).
- transitive v. To sever or destroy the spinal cord of, usually by inserting a needle into the vertebral canal.
- transitive v. To kill (cattle) by cutting the spinal cord.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The soft spongy substance in the center of the stems of many plants and trees.
- n. The essential or vital part.
- v. To extract the pith from (a plant stem or tree).
- v. To kill (especially cattle or laboratory animals) by cutting or piercing the spinal cord.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
- n. The spongy interior substance of a feather.
- n. The spinal cord; the marrow.
- n. Hence: The which contains the strength of life; the vital or essential part; concentrated force; vigor; strength; importance.
- transitive v. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In botany, the medulla, or central cylinder, composed of typical parenchymatous tissue, which occupies the center of the stems of dicotyledonous plants.
- n. In. anatomy: The spinal cord or marrow; the medulla spinalis.
- n. The central or medullary core of a hair.
- n. Strength; vigor; force.
- n. Energy; concentrated force; closeness and vigor of thought and style.
- n. Condensed substance or matter; quintessence.
- n. Weight; moment; importance.
- To introduce an instrument into the cranial or spinal cavity of (an animal, as a frog), and destroy the cerebrospinal axis or a part of it.
- n. The soft interior portion of the shaft of a feather.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
- n. soft spongelike central cylinder of the stems of most flowering plants
- v. remove the pith from (a plant)
Middle English, from Old English pitha.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English piþa, from Proto-Germanic *piþan (compare West Frisian piid 'pulp, kernel', Dutch peen 'carrot', Low German Peddik 'pulp, core'), from earlier *piþō (oblique *pittan). Doublet of pit. The verb meaning "to kill by cutting or piercing the spinal cord" is attested 1805. (Wiktionary)