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 The design team at ASH NYC doubled down on Williams’s vintage vision with a mixture of old and new-but-looks-old decor: Formica tables, rattan lampshades, family photos, and that finicky old jukebox. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "The Little Things: A Design Tour of Karl’s, a New Detroit Diner With a Vintage Vision," 13 Jan. 2020 The formula works miracles on your finicky skin and bestows your complexion with a seriously head-turning glow. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "Can You Become Immune to Your Skincare?," 3 Jan. 2020 Who knows, maybe there will be some newfangled primer that actually works for our finicky skin types or an innovative mascara that truly checks off every box of our lash criteria. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "All the Best New Makeup Launching in December," 12 Dec. 2019 Bordeaux also tends to be big and bold in flavor, unlike Burgundy, which is made from the thin-skinned, finicky pinot noir grape. Jay Mcinerney, Town & Country, "Pick a Side in the Great Red Wine Wars: Bordeaux or Burgundy?," 4 Nov. 2019 Fifteen to 20 seconds passed before anyone even dared breathe, let alone applaud Classical-music audiences are a finicky, fickle set. Sarah Schutte, National Review, "A British Choral Group, ‘Singing Joyfully’ on the Upper East Side," 26 Oct. 2019 Everyone has different tastes, and board gamers are a finicky lot. Jess Grey, Wired, "13 Table-Ready Gifts for Board Game Lovers," 11 Dec. 2019 While fiddle leaf figs can be tricky to take care of (though not impossible!), there are other plant options out there that give you that same dramatic effect without being quite as finicky. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Dracaena Plants Are the New Fiddle Leaf Figs Trees, But They're so Much Easier to Keep Alive," 22 Oct. 2019 Turn the head of your finicky feline with a yummy, healthy treat. Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored, "25 gifts for pets and the people who love them," 4 Dec. 2019

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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Finicky.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for finicky


How to pronounce finicky (audio)

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

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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).


dull or mediocre

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