Definition of fastidious
- fastidious attention to detail
- —Robert Evett
- fastidious workmanship
- critics … so fastidious that they can talk only to a small circle of initiates
- —Granville Hicks
- fastidious microorganisms
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He is fastidious about keeping the house clean.
She was too fastidious to do anything that might get her dirty.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fastidious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
There's nothing offensive about fastidious workmanship, and yet the word fastidious traces to the Latin noun fastidium, meaning "aversion" or "disgust." "Fastidium" itself is probably a combination of the Latin words fastus, meaning "arrogance," and taedium, meaning "irksomeness" or "disgust."("Taedium" also gave us our "tedium.") In keeping with its Latin roots, fastidious once meant "haughty," "disgusting," and "disgusted," although those uses are now archaic or obsolete. The word came to be applied to someone who is squeamish or overly difficult to please, and later, to work which reflects a demanding or precise attitude.
: very careful about how you do something
: liking few things : hard to please
: wanting to always be clean, neat, etc.
What made you want to look up fastidious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
investment of mental or emotional energy
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