Definition of punctilio
1 : a minute detail of conduct in a ceremony or in observance of a code
2 : careful observance of forms (as in social conduct)
Did You Know?
We'll get straight to the point: there are a number of English words that come from Latin pungere, meaning "to prick" or "to sting." "Punctilio" is one of these words. It traces back to "pungere" by way of Italian puntiglio (meaning "small point," "point of honor," or "scruple"), Spanish puntillo (the diminutive of punto, meaning "point"), and Latin punctum (also meaning "point"). The adjective punctilious, meaning "marked by or concerned about precise accordance with the details of codes or conventions, is a close relative of "punctilio." Do you have any guesses for other "pungere" derivatives? "Punctuate," "puncture," "compunction," "punctual," and "pungent" are some of the more common ones.
Origin of punctilio
Italian & Spanish; Italian puntiglio point of honor, scruple, from Spanish puntillo, from diminutive of punto point, from Latin punctum
First Known Use: 1596
Rhymes with punctilio
Arapaho, arpeggio, at one's elbow, bocaccio, bull's-eye window, carrion crow, centesimo, clock radio, con spirito, continuo, curculio, D'Annunzio, DMSO, Eustachio, ex nihilo, fantastico, fellatio, Fernando Póo, finocchio, fortissimo, Geronimo, get-up-and-go, go with the flow, Guantánamo, hereinbelow, home video, in dubio, intaglio, in utero, in vacuo, laminar flow, lancet window, La Rochefoucauld, lentissimo, locus in quo, lothario, magnifico, malapropos, Medicine Bow, medicine show, New Mexico, oregano, picture window, politico, portfolio, presidio, prestissimo, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Rosario, quo warranto, Sarajevo, scenario, simpatico, sound-and-light show, status in quo, talk radio, tennis elbow, turbulent flow, Verrocchio
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