adjective fas·tid·i·ous \fa-ˈsti-dē-əs, fə-\

: very careful about how you do something

: liking few things : hard to please

: wanting to always be clean, neat, etc.

Full Definition of FASTIDIOUS

archaic :  scornful
a :  having high and often capricious standards :  difficult to please <critics … so fastidious that they can talk only to a small circle of initiates — Granville Hicks>
b :  showing or demanding excessive delicacy or care
c :  reflecting a meticulous, sensitive, or demanding attitude <fastidious workmanship>
:  having complex nutritional requirements <fastidious microorganisms>
fas·tid·i·ous·ly adverb
fas·tid·i·ous·ness noun

Examples of FASTIDIOUS

  1. He is fastidious about keeping the house clean.
  2. She was too fastidious to do anything that might get her dirty.
  3. My mother had always been the most fastidious and organized of people—a wet ring left on her coffee table by a glass could drive her to distraction. —John B. Judis, New Republic, 14 Oct. 1996


Middle English, from Latin fastidiosus, from fastidium disgust, probably from fastus arrogance (probably akin to Latin fastigium top) + taedium irksomeness — more at tedium
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with FASTIDIOUS

FASTIDIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective fas·tid·i·ous \fa-ˈsti-dē-əs\

Definition of FASTIDIOUS for Kids

:  hard to please :  very particular <a fastidious dresser>
Medical Dictionary


adjective fas·tid·i·ous \fa-ˈstid-ē-əs, fə-\

Medical Definition of FASTIDIOUS

:  having complex nutritional requirements <fastidious microorganisms>—used of bacteria that grow only in specially fortified artificial culture media


Next Word in the Dictionary: fastigiatePrevious Word in the Dictionary: fast iceAll Words Near: fastidious
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears