Definition of pedant in English:



  • A person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.

    ‘the royal palace (some pedants would say the ex-royal palace)’
    • ‘Suddenly, the grammar pedants were springing out of the woodwork from every direction and, whether we liked it or not, we were all being given lessons in how we should use our English.’
    • ‘No one makes fun of them for talking about adding mice to the cache, because only scholars and pedants remember the word's source.’
    • ‘The intrusive comma changes the sense, and gives the dedicated pedant a linguistic heart attack.’
    • ‘I'm usually one of those ‘language is a living thing’ guys in these matters, laughing at the grammar pedants and vocabulary fascists.’
    • ‘Publishing on-line without proofreading is probably not the greatest of sins, but for a grammar pedant such as I, it's pretty transgressive nonetheless.’
    • ‘Muriel Gray may be wrong-headed at times and her sentence structure may offend grammatical pedants but at least she is thought - provoking and often entertaining.’
    • ‘Donoghue's a true historian, whose period detail is exacting enough to please the most pedantic of pedants, while her style displays an intimacy with the past that's both unpretentious and modern.’
    • ‘They could easily go to sleep to the murmuring oohs and aahs of connoisseurs and pedants.’
    • ‘The questioner is shouted down, accused of being a grammatical pedant.’
    • ‘If we're going to play the grammatical pedant, then let's be careful to get it right.’
    • ‘For too long, we linguistic pedants have cringed, watching this phrase used, misused, and abused, again, and again, and again.’
    • ‘Some pedants do let their love for rules get in the way of free-flowing language.’
    • ‘I like that sentence and I don't care what grammatical pedants think.’
    dogmatist, purist, literalist, formalist, doctrinaire
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from French pédant, from Italian pedante, perhaps from the first element of Latin paedogogus (see pedagogue).