What Does Pith Mean?


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Arlene Fernandes Profile
The term pith is a noun, which in botany refers to the sponge-like, soft, central cylinder which is a part of the stems of nearly all flowering plants. It is composed chiefly of parenchyma. In terms of zoology it refers to the soft inner matter of a feather or hair. The term has also been extended to mean the central or essential part; that is, the heart or essence.

It is also used as synonyms for the terms strength, mettle and vigour. It could mean significance or importance. An archaic use of the term is to denote the bone marrow or spinal cord.

As a transitive verb it means removing the pith from (that is, from a plant stem). It could mean severing or destroying the spinal cord of, generally by the insertion of a needle into the canal of the vertebrae. It could mean killing (cattle) by cutting their spinal cord.

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