per·​snick·​e·​ty | \ pər-ˈsni-kə-tē How to pronounce persnickety (audio) \

Definition of persnickety

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

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Other Words from persnickety

persnicketiness \ pər-​ˈsni-​kə-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce persnicketiness (audio) \ noun

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.

Examples of persnickety in a Sentence

as she got older, she got more and more persnickety lacked the patience to deal with such persnickety tasks as hanging wallpaper

First Known Use of persnickety

1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for persnickety

alteration of pernickety

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The first known use of persnickety was in 1889

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English Language Learners Definition of persnickety

US, informal + disapproving : giving a lot of attention to details that are minor or not important

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Comments on persnickety

What made you want to look up persnickety? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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