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pedant

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noun ped·ant \ˈpe-dənt\

Simple Definition of pedant

  • : a person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details

Full Definition of pedant

  1. 1 obsolete :  a male schoolteacher

  2. 2 a :  one who makes a show of knowledge b :  one who is unimaginative or who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge c :  a formalist or precisionist in teaching

Examples of pedant

  1. All too often, science fiction provokes the pedant in professional scientists, for whom a beautiful story can be ruined by a single petty error. —Jerry A. Coyne, New York Times Book Review, 10 Oct. 1999

  2. A controversialist, crusty, critical, arrogant, a pedant, he was attacked by his contemporaries for sacrilege, impudence, temerity and presumption—among other imperfections. —Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996

  3. This pioneer of the Age of the Sea, who deserves fame as an opener of the modern mind, has been caught in the cross fire of chauvinists, pedants, and ignorant but enthusiastic men of letters. —Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983

  4. A zealous pedant, Flaubert defended the accuracy of his historical novels with wearisome tenacity, as if accuracy could compensate for their lack of lived experience. —James Atlas, New York Times Book Review, 17 Oct. 1982



Origin of pedant

Middle French, from Italian pedante


First Known Use: 1588


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