definition of pith by The Free Dictionary

It is the unspeakable misery of a life so false as his, that it steals the pith and substance out of whatever realities there are around us, and which were meant by Heaven to be the spirit’s joy and nutriment.
The more business he got, the greater his power seemed to grow of getting at its pith and marrow; and however late at night he sat carousing with Sydney Carton, he always had his points at his fingers’ ends in the morning.
From a heterogeneous collection of loot, Achmet Zek procured a pith helmet and a European saddle, and from his black slaves and followers a party of porters, askaris and tent boys to make up a modest safari for a big game hunter.
She was busy with her work, and I was running over the columns of a paper from which I had extracted all the pith some twenty minutes before.
In those days folk still believed in witches and trembled at a curse; and this one, falling so pat, like a wayside omen, to arrest me ere I carried out my purpose, took the pith out of my legs.
Get along with thee for a smart fellow; and I will wager on thy head, as a man of pith and substance, with a brain and what they call a heart, and all else that a man should have, against any other thing on two legs.
He wheeled to face an utter stranger–a tall, black-haired, gray-eyed stranger clad in khaki and pith helmet.
Imposing silence, Grimaud put out the little night lamp, then knelt down and poured into the lieutenant’s ear a recital melodramatic enough not to require play of feature to give it pith.
Hunger conspired with fatigue to crush him, for a man’s system is not greatly restored and fortified by a diet of roots, the pith of plants, such as the Mele, or the fruit of the doum palm-tree; and yet, according to his own calculations, Joe was enabled to push on about twenty miles to the westward.
His eyes took in my large pith helmet, my khaki jacket, and bandoleers of cartridges, the two revolvers swinging at my hips, the large rifle resting against my body.
The axe struck deep into the very pith; the Tree fell to the earth with a sigh; he felt a pang–it was like a swoon; he could not think of happiness, for he was sorrowful at being separated from his home, from the place where he had sprung up.
The pursuit alone is my strength,–the energy of my soul,–the warmth of my blood,–and the pith and marrow of my bones!

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