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

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 That said, self-checkout technology is often finicky and still requires human intervention. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 15 Apr. 2022 Some microbes are incredibly finicky, and scientists often have no idea what conditions these organisms need. Joanna Thompson, Scientific American, 22 Apr. 2022 People bemoan these cars' unreliability and finicky tune, but many of these problems were resolved by the incorporation of fuel injection in '87 (this one has it), and most others, in enduring cars, have been shaken out. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, 15 Apr. 2022 That's mostly because the light needs to hit something to actually project an image and because light, in general, is finicky. Katie Dupere, Men's Health, 27 Mar. 2022 Further, the iPad Pro authenticates the user with Face ID, but the Air uses Touch ID via the top button, which can be a bit finicky sometimes. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 16 Mar. 2022 Antibodies are also finicky and super specific—ones that latch on tightly to one version of the virus might bounce uselessly off of another. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 16 Mar. 2022 But with cyclical numbers, division is more finicky. Quanta Magazine, 9 Dec. 2021 The upper fit was true to size but seemed to be finicky, not wrapping all foot shapes well and not comfortable for those with wide feet or for testers who wanted to spread their toes. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 3 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

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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The first known use of finicky was circa 1825

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Finicky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for finicky


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

Nglish: Translation of finicky for Spanish Speakers


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