fin·​icky | \ ˈfi-ni-kē \

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

Eggplants are finicky, complicated, and often misunderstood. Leah Rodriguez, The Cut, "Queer Eye’s Antoni Recommends Breaking Up Over a Bowl of Cheese," 6 July 2018 Who knows, maybe there will be some newfangled primer that actually works for our finicky skin type or an innovative mascara that truly checks off every box on our criteria. Allure, "The Best New Makeup Launches Coming in November," 1 Nov. 2018 The aging dragster—the same car Rompelberg used in 1995—proved finicky. Jason Gay, WSJ, "She Just Rode 184 MPH on a Bicycle. Really.," 17 Sep. 2018 But the quick-release push pins in the straps are finicky to use, despite looking identical to the ones other watches use. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Fossil Sport Smartwatch review: new watch, same old tricks," 20 Nov. 2018 The sound quality wasn't great, and the controls were finicky. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Coming soon from Google: The Pixel 3, Google Home Hub, Pixel Slate, and more," 7 Oct. 2018 Avoid finicky recipes that need to be prepared one at a time. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "I've Been Hosting Thanksgiving for 5 Years and Here Are My Tips," 16 Nov. 2018 With the holidays comes the annual race to find the perfect gift for every person in your life, from your cool coworker to your finicky college roommate and your discerning brother-in-law. Asad Syrkett, Curbed, "21 holiday gifts for people who like nice things," 15 Nov. 2018 As shallowly as they’re drawn, though, the women, swishing in and out during the sittings, disrupt the movie’s stuffy atmosphere and enliven production designer James Merifield’s somewhat finicky aesthetic. Jeannette Catsoulis, kansascity, "‘Final Portrait’ draws a fuzzy picture of an artist | The Kansas City Star," 18 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for finicky

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for finicky

The first known use of finicky was circa 1825

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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 \

Kids Definition of finicky

: very hard to please : fussy

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More from Merriam-Webster on finicky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for finicky

Spanish Central: Translation of finicky

Nglish: Translation of finicky for Spanish Speakers

Comments on finicky

What made you want to look up finicky? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


irregularly rounded

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