V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. full of meaning, but concise; 2. brief, yet forceful and to the point, and often witty or clever

Synonyms: brief, concise, effective, abrupt, terse, blunt, short, laconic

Antonyms: lengthy, extended, pointless, vapid

Tips: Pithy is derived from the Old English pipa, which means "essential part of the plant." Pithy has come to mean "brief," probably because something brief and meaningful only mentions the essential parts. Pithy is synonymous with succinct. Succinct is used more in business communication, to describe brief and to-the-point communication--in the fast paced business world you have to be succinct when you communicate. Pithy is more often used in literary communication to describe creative and witty writing that communicates a lot with few words.

Usage Examples:

When you read his pithy character descriptions, you feel as if you completely know the character after reading just a few sentences. (concise, descriptive)

Her pithy comment about teachers being like babysitters didn't go over very well at the parent-teacher conference. (blunt, terse)

The comedian was best known for her dry humor and pithy one-liners. (short, effective)

Her pithy speech both educated and entertained the audience even though it only lasted 10 minutes. (effective, concise, witty)

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