Definition of pedantic
- a pedantic teacher
- a pedantic insistence that we follow the rules exactly
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pedantic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
In Shakespeare's day, a pedant was a male schoolteacher. The word's meaning was close to that of the Italian pedante, from which the English word was adapted. Someone who was pedantic was simply a tutor or teacher. But some instructional pedants of the day must have been pompous and dull, because by the late 1500s pedant had gained an extended sense referring to anyone who was obnoxiously and tediously devoted to his or her own academic acumen.
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