Pith vs. Pit - What's the difference?

Wikipedia

  • Pith

    Pith, or medulla, is a tissue in the stems of vascular plants. Pith is composed of soft, spongy parenchyma cells, which store and transport nutrients throughout the plant. In eudicotyledons, pith is located in the center of the stem. In monocotyledons, it extends also into flowering stems and roots. The pith is encircled by a ring of xylem; the xylem, in turn, is encircled by a ring of phloem. While new pith growth is usually white or pale in colour, as the tissue ages it commonly darkens to a deeper brown color. In trees pith is generally present in young growth, but in the trunk and older branches the pith often gets replaced - in great part - by xylem. In some plants, the pith in the middle of the stem may dry out and disintegrate, resulting in a hollow stem. A few plants, such as walnuts, have distinctive chambered pith with numerous short cavities (See image at middle right). The cells in the peripheral parts of the pith may, in some plants, develop to be different from cells in the rest of the pith. This layer of cells is then called the perimedullary region of the pithamus. An example of this can be observed in Hedera helix, a species of ivy. The term pith is also used to refer to the pale, spongy inner layer of the rind, more properly called mesocarp or albedo, of citrus fruits (such as oranges) and other hesperidia. The word comes from the Old English word piþa, meaning substance, akin to Middle Dutch pitt, meaning the pit of a fruit.The pith of the sola or other similar plants is used to make the pith helmet.The pith of the sago palm, although highly toxic to animals in its raw form, is an important human food source in Melanesia and Micronesia by virtue of its starch content and its availability. There is a simple process of starch extraction from sago pith that leaches away a sufficient amount of the toxins and thus only the starch component is consumed. Current processes for starch extraction are generally only about 50% efficient, however, with the other half remaining in residual pith waste. The form of the starch after processing is similar to tapioca.

Wiktionary

  • Pith (noun)

    The soft, spongy substance in the center of the stems of many plants and trees.

  • Pith (noun)

    The spongy interior substance of a feather.

  • Pith (noun)

    The spinal cord; the marrow.

  • Pith (noun)

    The albedo of a citrus fruit.

  • Pith (noun)

    The essential or vital part; force; energy; importance.

    "The pith of my idea is that people should choose their own work hours."

  • Pith (verb)

    To extract the pith from (a plant stem or tree).

  • Pith (verb)

    To kill (especially cattle or laboratory animals) by cutting or piercing the spinal cord.

  • Pit (noun)

    A hole in the ground.

  • Pit (noun)

    An area at a motor racetrack used for refueling and repairing the vehicles during a race.

  • Pit (noun)

    A section of the marching band containing mallet percussion instruments and other large percussion instruments too large to march, such as the tam tam. Also, the area on the sidelines where these instruments are placed.

  • Pit (noun)

    A mine.

  • Pit (noun)

    A hole or trench in the ground, excavated according to grid coordinates, so that the provenance of any feature observed and any specimen or artifact revealed may be established by precise measurement.

  • Pit (noun)

    A trading pit.

  • Pit (noun)

    The bottom part of something.

    "I felt pain in the pit of my stomach."

  • Pit (noun)

    Armpit.

  • Pit (noun)

    A luggage hold.

  • Pit (noun)

    A small surface hole or depression, a fossa.

  • Pit (noun)

    The indented mark left by a pustule, as in smallpox.

  • Pit (noun)

    The grave, or underworld.

  • Pit (noun)

    An enclosed area into which gamecocks, dogs, and other animals are brought to fight, or where dogs are trained to kill rats.

  • Pit (noun)

    Formerly, that part of a theatre, on the floor of the house, below the level of the stage and behind the orchestra; now, in England, commonly the part behind the stalls; in the United States, the parquet; also, the occupants of such a part of a theatre.

  • Pit (noun)

    Part of a casino which typically holds tables for blackjack, craps, roulette, and other games.

  • Pit (noun)

    A pit bull terrier.

    "I'm taking one of my pits to the vet on Thursday."

  • Pit (noun)

    .

    "His circus job was the pits, but at least he was in show business."

  • Pit (noun)

    A mosh pit.

  • Pit (noun)

    A seed inside a fruit; a stone or pip inside a fruit.

  • Pit (noun)

    A shell in a drupe containing a seed.

  • Pit (noun)

    The core of an implosion weapon, consisting of the fissile material and any neutron reflector or tamper bonded to it.

  • Pit (noun)

    A pit bull terrier.

  • Pit (verb)

    To make pits in; to mark with little hollows.

    "Exposure to acid rain pitted the metal."

  • Pit (verb)

    To put (an animal) into a pit for fighting.

  • Pit (verb)

    To bring (something) into opposition with something else.

    "Are you ready to pit your wits against one of the world's greatest puzzles?"

  • Pit (verb)

    To return to the pits during a race for refuelling, tyre changes, repairs etc.

  • Pit (verb)

    To remove the stone from a stone fruit or the shell from a drupe.

    "One must pit a peach to make it ready for a pie."

Oxford Dictionary

  • Pith (noun)

    the spongy white tissue lining the rind of oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits.

  • Pith (noun)

    the spongy cellular tissue in the stems and branches of many higher plants.

  • Pith (noun)

    spinal marrow.

  • Pith (noun)

    the essence of something

    "the pith and core of socialism"

  • Pith (noun)

    vigour and conciseness of expression

    "he writes with a combination of pith and exactitude"

  • Pith (verb)

    remove the pith from

    "peel and pith the oranges"

  • Pith (verb)

    pierce or sever the spinal cord of (an animal) so as to kill or immobilize it.

  • Pit (noun)

    a large hole in the ground.

  • Pit (noun)

    a large deep hole from which stones or minerals are quarried

    "a gravel pit"

  • Pit (noun)

    a coal mine

    "the recent protests over planned pit closures"

  • Pit (noun)

    a sunken area in a workshop floor allowing access to a car's underside.

  • Pit (noun)

    a low or wretched psychological state

    "a black pit of depression"

  • Pit (noun)

    hell.

  • Pit (noun)

    a hollow or indentation in a surface.

  • Pit (noun)

    a small indentation left on the skin by a pustule or spot; a pockmark.

  • Pit (noun)

    an area at the side of a track where racing cars are serviced and refuelled

    "he had a flat tyre when he came into the pits"

    "the pit lane"

  • Pit (noun)

    an orchestra pit.

  • Pit (noun)

    the seating at the back of the stalls of a theatre.

  • Pit (noun)

    a part of the floor of a stock exchange in which a particular stock or commodity is traded

    "the trading pit of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange"

    "pooled commodity funds liquidated positions in the corn and soybean pits"

  • Pit (noun)

    an enclosure in which animals are made to fight

    "a bear pit"

  • Pit (noun)

    a person's bed.

  • Pit (noun)

    a person's armpit.

  • Pit (noun)

    the stone of a fruit.

  • Pit (verb)

    set someone or something in conflict or competition with

    "you'll get the chance to pit your wits against the world champions"

  • Pit (verb)

    set an animal to fight against (another animal) for sport

    "there were usually three dogs pitted against one lion"

  • Pit (verb)

    make a hollow or indentation in the surface of

    "rain poured down, pitting the bare earth"

  • Pit (verb)

    sink in or contract so as to form a pit or hollow.

  • Pit (verb)

    drive a racing car into the pits for fuel or maintenance

    "he pitted on lap 36 with sudden engine trouble"

  • Pit (verb)

    remove the pit from (fruit).

Webster Dictionary

  • Pith (noun)

    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.

  • Pith (noun)

    The spongy interior substance of a feather.

  • Pith (noun)

    Hence: The which contains the strength of life; the vital or essential part; concentrated force; vigor; strength; importance; as, the speech lacked pith.

  • Pith

    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.

  • Pit (noun)

    A large cavity or hole in the ground, either natural or artificial; a cavity in the surface of a body; an indentation

  • Pit (noun)

    Any abyss; especially, the grave, or hades.

  • Pit (noun)

    A covered deep hole for entrapping wild beasts; a pitfall; hence, a trap; a snare. Also used figuratively.

  • Pit (noun)

    A depression or hollow in the surface of the human body

  • Pit (noun)

    Formerly, that part of a theater, on the floor of the house, below the level of the stage and behind the orchestra; now, in England, commonly the part behind the stalls; in the United States, the parquet; also, the occupants of such a part of a theater.

  • Pit (noun)

    An inclosed area into which gamecocks, dogs, and other animals are brought to fight, or where dogs are trained to kill rats.

  • Pit (noun)

    The endocarp of a drupe, and its contained seed or seeds; a stone; as, a peach pit; a cherry pit, etc.

  • Pit

    To place or put into a pit or hole.

  • Pit

    To mark with little hollows, as by various pustules; as, a face pitted by smallpox.

  • Pit

    To introduce as an antagonist; to set forward for or in a contest; as, to pit one dog against another.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Pith (noun)

    soft spongelike central cylinder of the stems of most flowering plants

  • Pith (noun)

    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience;

    "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"

    "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"

    "the nub of the story"

  • Pit (noun)

    a sizeable hole (usually in the ground);

    "they dug a pit to bury the body"

  • Pit (noun)

    a concavity in a surface (especially an anatomical depression)

  • Pit (noun)

    the hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed;

    "you should remove the stones from prunes before cooking"

  • Pit (noun)

    a trap in the form of a concealed hole

  • Pit (noun)

    a surface excavation for extracting stone or slate;

    "a British term for `quarry' is `stone pit'"

  • Pit (noun)

    lowered area in front of a stage where an orchestra accompanies the performers

  • Pit (noun)

    a workplace consisting of a coal mine plus all the buildings and equipment connected with it

  • Pit (verb)

    set into opposition or rivalry;

    "let them match their best athletes against ours"

    "pit a chess player against the Russian champion"

    "He plays his two children off against each other"

  • Pit (verb)

    mark with a scar;

    "The skin disease scarred his face permanently"

  • Pit (verb)

    remove the pits from;

    "pit plums and cherries"

Illustrations

Pith

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