Pronunciation: (pith),[key] —n. 1. Bot.the soft, spongy central cylinder of parenchymatous tissue in the stems of dicotyledonous plants.
2. Zool.the soft inner part of a feather, a hair, etc.
3. the important or essential part; essence; core; heart: the pith of the matter. 4. significant weight; substance; solidity: an argument without pith. 5. Archaic.spinal cord or bone marrow.
6. Archaic.strength, force, or vigor; mettle: men of pith.
—v.t. 1. to remove the pith from (plants).
2. to destroy the spinal cord or brain of.
3. to slaughter, as cattle, by severing the spinal cord.