Definition of pedant
1 obsolete : a male schoolteacher
2a : one who makes a show of knowledgeb : one who is unimaginative or who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledgec : a formalist or precisionist in teaching
Examples of pedant in a Sentence
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. Coyne, New York Times Book Review, 10 Oct. 1999
A controversialist, crusty, critical, arrogant, a pedant, he was attacked by his contemporaries for sacrilege, impudence, temerity and presumption—among other imperfections. —Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996
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. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983
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 Atlas, New York Times Book Review, 17 Oct. 1982
Recent Examples of pedant from the Web
Rather than pin the butterfly of English to the specimen board, Stamper presents the language in its natural habitat, full of contradictions, breaking the hearts of pedants everywhere.
Sorkin, that pedant, would cram a teachable moment into a commercial break if The Newsroom had any.
And, not to be a pedant, but there was holy hell to pay in upstate New York between the farmers and the speculative class down in New York, who pretty much ran things in Albany.
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
First Known Use: 1588See Words from the same year
PEDANT Defined for English Language Learners
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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