1 a : having high and often capricious standards : difficult to please
b : showing or demanding excessive delicacy or care
c : reflecting a meticulous, sensitive, or demanding attitude
2 : having complex nutritional requirements
Did You Know?
There's nothing offensive about fastidious workmanship, and yet the word fastidious traces to the Latin noun fastidium, meaning "aversion" or "disgust." Fastidium itself is probably a combination of the Latin words fastus, meaning "arrogance," and taedium, meaning "irksomeness" or "disgust." (Taedium also gave us our tedium.) In keeping with its Latin roots, fastidious once meant "haughty," "disgusting," and "disagreeable," although those uses are now archaic or obsolete. Today, the word is most often applied to people who are very meticulous or overly difficult to please, or to work which reflects a demanding or precise attitude.
"I may have thrown in a little thing here or there, but I'm pretty fastidious about sticking to the script if I like it…." — Michael Shannon, Screen International, 21 Nov. 2016
"The luckiest house cats reside in homes where they can stalk tiny rodents, but that's not always the case for felines who cohabit with fastidious modern-day humans. The menu is more likely to be a can of Salmon Surprise, and food is always plentiful." — Jessica Firger, Newsweek, 7 Oct. 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
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