Definition of fastidious
1 archaic : scornful
2a : having high and often capricious standards : difficult to please critics … so fastidious that they can talk only to a small circle of initiates — Granville Hicksb : showing or demanding excessive delicacy or care fastidious attention to detail — Robert Evettc : reflecting a meticulous, sensitive, or demanding attitude fastidious workmanship
3 : having complex nutritional requirements fastidious microorganisms
fastidious was our Word of the Day on 01/30/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of fastidious in a Sentence
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.
Recent Examples of fastidious from the Web
CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller is famously fastidious with all presidential happenings.
The fastidious, propulsive character of her music has much in common too with drum 'n' bass, a genre with a surprisingly strong following in Chicago.
This cleansing was often done by a fastidious mascot: Mr. Clean or the Ty-D-Bowl man or those kamikaze Scrubbing Bubbles, who scoured the tub, then dived to their death down an echoing drain.
This season of Better Call Saul has been filled with scenes of characters performing fastidious labor, and some have been mind-numbing to watch.
Andreas Melbostad's surfer was pristine as a Nordic backpacker at Diesel Black Gold; Massimo Giorgetti's looked prim and fastidious at MSGM; the wave riders at No.
Q: BART must transport all the fare-paying public, including those who are less-than-fastidious.
Working to overcome fear Honnold’s training was fastidious.
Value is in the eye of the beholder — or so the fastidious video installations of American artist Amie Siegel suggest.
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.
fastidious Has a Disgusting Past
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.
FASTIDIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fastidious for English Language Learners
: very careful about how you do something
: liking few things : hard to please
: wanting to always be clean, neat, etc.
FASTIDIOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of fastidious for Students
: hard to please : very particular a fastidious dresser
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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