pith

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cut to the pith (of something)

To focus directly on the essential or core matter(s) of a given topic or issue. Her newest book cuts to the pith of what it means to be human. We are looking for a reporter who will cut to the pith, not fluff their articles with unnecessary details or asides.
See also: cut, pith

pith of the matter

The core, central, essential, or most important part(s) or element(s) of some matter at hand. I'd love to sit and catch up with you, John, but let's get to the right to pith of the matter and start talking business. Your Honor and the jury will find that the pith of the matter is revealed by this single piece of evidence—the murder weapon, with the suspect's finger prints all over it.
See also: matter, of, pith

great pith and moment

High importance. A: "Making a speech at your college graduation is an occasion of great pith and moment." B: "I know, and I'm so honored that the committee chose me." Getting engaged is a decision of great pith and moment—do not take it lightly.
See also: and, great, moment, pith
References in classic literature ?
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.
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.
the pith of his no tail; and for demonstration of his faith points
The extract that follows contains the pith of his letter; and shows how he encouraged me when I stood in sore need of a few cheering and friendly words.
Clearly observing, however, from the expression in Ralph's features, that he had best come to the point as speedily as might be, he composed himself for more serious business, and entered upon the pith and marrow of his negotiation.
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.