pedant

noun ped·ant \ ˈpe-dᵊnt \

Definition of pedant

1 obsolete : a male schoolteacher
2 a : one who makes a show of knowledge
b : one who is unimaginative or who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge
c : a formalist or precisionist in teaching

Examples of pedant in a Sentence

  1. All too often, science fiction provokes the pedant in professional scientists, for whom a beautiful story can be ruined by a single petty error. —Jerry A. CoyneNew York Times Book Review10 Oct. 1999
  2. A controversialist, crusty, critical, arrogant, a pedant, he was attacked by his contemporaries for sacrilege, impudence, temerity and presumption—among other imperfections. —Carl SaganThe Demon-Haunted World1996
  3. This pioneer of the Age of the Sea, who deserves fame as an opener of the modern mind, has been caught in the cross fire of chauvinists, pedants, and ignorant but enthusiastic men of letters. —Daniel J. BoorstinThe Discoverers1983
  4. A zealous pedant, Flaubert defended the accuracy of his historical novels with wearisome tenacity, as if accuracy could compensate for their lack of lived experience. —James AtlasNew York Times Book Review17 Oct. 1982

Recent Examples of pedant from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of pedant

Middle French, from Italian pedante

PEDANT Defined for English Language Learners

pedant

noun

Definition of pedant for English Language Learners

  • : a person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details


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