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.
Examples of pedantic in a Sentence
It may seem pedantic to harp on what looks like mere procedure, but this is one case where the process is the forest. —Hendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker, 29 May 2000Yet not since Kenneth Roberts has anyone written of early New England life in such vivid and convincing detail. (The minor inaccuracies will stir only the pedantic.) —Annie Proulx, New York Times Book Review, 28 Apr. 1991What I'm objecting to is that picture books are judged from a particular, pedantic point of view vis-à-vis their relation to children—and I insist that a picture book is much more. —Maurice Sendak, Caldecott & Co., 1988She is looking for the will, or for the diary; always looking for herself in history, the self the pious, pedantic Tolstoyans would disinherit and deny. … —Elizabeth Hardwick, Bartleby in Manhattan and Other Essays, (1962) 1984
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.