Definition of fastidious in English:



  • 1Very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail.

    ‘she dressed with fastidious care’
    • ‘He had to carefully attend to each customer's fastidious demands.’
    • ‘His playing is not only passionately alluring but also remarkably fastidious to the slightest detail in the scores.’
    • ‘For the fastidious reader interested in precise historical accuracy, these flaws are very substantial.’
    • ‘Why does a conductor so fastidious and precise with an orchestra always seem so blithely undisturbed by such unidiomatic, out-of-tune singing?’
    • ‘This Prime Minister, who is so fastidious about all matters, says that she was happy to leave the judgment on this issue up to her electorate office staff.’
    • ‘Aside from this fastidious attention to detail, the designer's work has few distinguishing features.’
    • ‘I've looked for holes in the armor but Donaldson's too fastidious.’
    • ‘The owner of our company is pretty fastidious in choosing products that are naturally and environmentally sound.’
    • ‘He plays it deadpan, with impeccable style and fastidious attention to detail, but of course that only enhances the absurdity.’
    • ‘His appearance strikes me as unusual for a middle-aged man - overly fastidious and somehow too calculated.’
    • ‘He is eloquent at description, fastidious about mythic details, but reticent about his personal life.’
    • ‘In retrospect, I wish I had been more fastidious.’
    • ‘He made relatively few films and gained the reputation of being a fastidious and sometimes ruthless perfectionist.’
    • ‘A first-year student at Williams may well become frustrated with such fastidious nit-picking.’
    • ‘They want you to do everything to them, but then are too fastidious to name it.’
    • ‘Why be so fastidious in dealing with the likes of Norman?’
    • ‘The central characters are fastidious, scrupulous and articulate.’
    • ‘He's a detail man, obsessively fastidious to the point that he still handles the steady-cam himself, to get those shots just right.’
    • ‘In its overall design and fastidious attention to detail, the table reflects the concept of presenting a useful, industrially produced object that is a work of art.’
    • ‘I was struck by the fastidious care with which the parties divided up the cost of the vacations they took together; sometimes calculations were made to the penny.’
    scrupulous, punctilious, painstaking, meticulous, assiduous, sedulous, perfectionist, fussy, finicky, dainty, over-particular
    critical, overcritical, hypercritical, difficult to please, hard to please, impossible to please
    pedantic, precise, exact, hair-splitting, exacting, demanding
    pernickety, nitpicking, choosy, picky
    nice, overnice
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Very concerned about matters of cleanliness.
      ‘the child seemed fastidious about getting her fingers dirty’
      • ‘One or two buckets will do for a clean bath for even the most fastidious person.’
      • ‘It does not matter how fastidious one is, how thoroughly and often one washes one's hands or even how many vitamins one takes, one is still likely to get sick from long-haul air travel.’
      • ‘The mouse genome, it seems, is more fastidious with its housecleaning than the human.’
      • ‘Paul was fastidious when it came to cleanliness.’
      • ‘He always loves to have everything very chic and polished and fastidious.’
      • ‘When I started cleaning carpets, I realized early that my standards of cleaning weren't up to the level of some of the highly fastidious clients I was attracting.’
      • ‘The food may be healthy, but the conditions under which it's made are far from the standards demanded by fastidious Westerners.’


Late Middle English: from Latin fastidiosus, from fastidium loathing. The word originally meant ‘disagreeable’, later ‘disgusted’. Current senses date from the 17th century.