hair·​split·​ter ˈher-ˌspli-tər How to pronounce hairsplitter (audio)
: one that makes excessively fine distinctions in reasoning
hairsplitting adjective or noun

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hairsplitter was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near hairsplitter

Cite this Entry

“Hairsplitter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


hair·​split·​ter ˈha(ə)r-ˌsplit-ər How to pronounce hairsplitter (audio)
: a person who argues about differences too small to be important
hairsplitting adjective or noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hairsplitter

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