Simple Definition of fastidious
: very careful about how you do something
: liking few things : hard to please
: wanting to always be clean, neat, etc.
Full Definition of fastidious
1 archaic : scornful
2 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>
3 : having complex nutritional requirements <fastidious microorganisms>
Examples of fastidious
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
“I'll stop off and get us a sandwich,” said Matthew. … Tony, a fastidious eater, sighed. —Penelope Lively, City of the Mind, 1991
Though he prides himself on being hip, he is too fastidious to do anything dangerous or dirty. —Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City, 1984
He is fastidious about keeping the house clean.
She was too fastidious to do anything that might get her dirty.
Origin of fastidious
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
Medical Definition of fastidious
: having complex nutritional requirements <fastidious microorganisms>—used of bacteria that grow only in specially fortified artificial culture media
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