Simple Definition of persnickety
: giving a lot of attention to details that are minor or not important
Examples of persnickety in a sentence
<as she got older, she got more and more persnickety>
<lacked the patience to deal with such persnickety tasks as hanging wallpaper>
Did You Know?
Persnickety people like things neat and tidy, but the etymology of persnickety doesn't provide the kind of clean, clear explanation that appeals to the fastidious. "Persnickety" was first documented in English in 1892 as an alteration of "pernickety," a word that has the same meaning. "Pernickety" goes back to the early 1800s, but from there, the word's "history" gets messy. Some say "pernickety" might be from a child's version of "particular"; others, that the "nick" part came from association with "knick-knack." Or perhaps the Latin prefix per-, meaning "thoroughly, played a role. But it's all pure conjecture-no one knows for sure.
Origin of persnickety
alteration of pernickety
First Known Use: 1915
Rhymes with persnickety
Learn More about persnickety
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "persnickety"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up persnickety? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).