Synonym Chooser

How is the word punctilious different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of punctilious are careful, meticulous, and scrupulous. While all these words mean "showing close attention to detail," punctilious implies minute, even excessive attention to fine points.

punctilious observance of ritual

Where would careful be a reasonable alternative to punctilious?

The synonyms careful and punctilious are sometimes interchangeable, but careful implies attentiveness and cautiousness in avoiding mistakes.

a careful worker

In what contexts can meticulous take the place of punctilious?

The words meticulous and punctilious can be used in similar contexts, but meticulous may imply either commendable extreme carefulness or a hampering finicky caution over small points.

meticulous scholarship

When can scrupulous be used instead of punctilious?

While the synonyms scrupulous and punctilious are close in meaning, scrupulous applies to what is proper or fitting or ethical.

scrupulous honesty

Thesaurus Entries Near punctilious

Cite this Entry

“Punctilious.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/punctilious. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on punctilious

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