persnickety

adjective per·snick·e·ty \ pər-ˈsni-kə-tē \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of persnickety

1 a : fussy about small details : fastidious
  • a persnickety teacher
b : having the characteristics of a snob
2 : requiring great precision
  • a persnickety job

persnicketiness

play \pər-ˈsni-kə-tē-nəs\ noun

persnickety was our Word of the Day on 04/28/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of persnickety in a Sentence

  1. as she got older, she got more and more persnickety

  2. lacked the patience to deal with such persnickety tasks as hanging wallpaper

Did You Know?

Persnickety people like things neat and tidy, but the etymology of persnickety doesn't provide the kind of clean, clear explanation that appeals to the fastidious. Persnickety was first documented in English in the late 19th century as an alteration of pernickety, a word that has the same meaning. Pernickety goes back to the early 1800s, but from there, the word's history gets messy. Some say pernickety might be from a child's version of particular; others, that the nick part came from association with knick-knack. Or perhaps the Latin prefix per-, meaning "thoroughly," played a role. But it's all conjecture-no one knows for sure.

Origin and Etymology of persnickety

alteration of pernickety

PERSNICKETY Defined for English Language Learners

persnickety

adjective

Definition of persnickety for English Language Learners

  • : giving a lot of attention to details that are minor or not important



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