fin·​icky | \ ˈfi-ni-kē How to pronounce finicky (audio) \

Definition of finicky

1 : extremely or excessively particular, exacting, or meticulous in taste or standards a finicky eater My teacher is finicky about spelling.
2 : requiring much care, precision, or attentive effort a finicky recipe … growing the finicky Pinot Noir grape …— Kim Marcus

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Other Words from finicky

finickiness noun

Did You Know?

You may be familiar with an advertising campaign featuring Morris, the "finicky" housecat who would only eat a certain brand of cat food. Morris’s tastes in cuisine are not only very particular, but very fine as well, and that’s appropriate given the origin of "finicky." The word came about as an alteration of "finicking," itself an alteration of another adjective, "finical." It’s believed that finical derives from the adjective "fine." "Finicking" also gives us "finick," a somewhat rare verb meaning "to put on airs" or "to dawdle about."

Examples of finicky in a Sentence

My teacher is finicky about grammar. a complicated and finicky recipe
Recent Examples on the Web His often crude style drove away voters in prosperous suburbs and among finicky conservatives. Washington Examiner, "Trump's 2024 prospects look bleak," 11 Feb. 2021 Nebbiolo is the more finicky of the two, a grape that finds its apex of expression in the coveted wines of Barolo and Barbaresco., "How to get a taste of Italian wine in California," 11 Dec. 2018 Getting the timing exactly right is also important because of the finicky nature of the vaccines. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "How to Vaccinate a Country Amid Trump’s Wreckage," 20 Jan. 2021 Like many of the plants in the TREES program, the finicky flower also produces recalcitrant seeds, which can’t be easily stored because drying and freezing—the main way seeds are preserved—will kill them. Doug Johnson, Wired, "Can This Group Revive the Finicky Corpse Flower?," 16 Jan. 2021 Health officials hope the less finicky Moderna vaccine will be a better fit for some of Alaska’s farflung rural communities as compared to the Pfizer product, which requires ultra-cold storage. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "‘So, so exciting”: Second wave of COVID-19 vaccine distributions begin in Alaska as Moderna shipments arrive," 22 Dec. 2020 Of those, 100,000 doses will go to five hospitals that can store the finicky vaccine. Washington Post, "With a coronavirus vaccine authorized, hospitals scramble to determine when it will arrive and who gets it first," 12 Dec. 2020 But for most of the country, poinsettias are notoriously finicky about reblooming. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "How to Care for Poinsettias," 7 Dec. 2020 But Kelty kicks it up with hydrophobic Dri-Down, which isn’t nearly as finicky about moisture, and some solid design upgrades such as an interior stash pocket and a soft nylon taffeta lining. Ben Romans, Outdoor Life, "The 2020 Camping Gear Gift Guide," 26 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finicky.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of finicky

circa 1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for finicky

alteration of finicking

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Time Traveler for finicky

Time Traveler

The first known use of finicky was circa 1825

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Finicky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for finicky



English Language Learners Definition of finicky

: very hard to please
: requiring a lot of care or attention


fin·​icky | \ ˈfi-ni-kē How to pronounce finicky (audio) \

Kids Definition of finicky

: very hard to please : fussy

More from Merriam-Webster on finicky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for finicky

Nglish: Translation of finicky for Spanish Speakers

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