One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy.‘she's very pernickety about her food’
fussy, difficult to please, difficult, finicky, over-fastidious, fastidious, over-particular, particular, faddish, finical, dainty, punctilious, hair-splitting, exacting, demanding, critical, overcriticalView synonyms
- ‘I thought he was just being pernickety, but I'll not argue in future.’
- ‘At last, those of us who are pernickety about our food can come out of the closet.’
- ‘But it's a pernickety view for a dating agency to take.’
- ‘Needless to say, there were a few of my pernickety readers who were quick to point out the folly of my ways.’
- ‘But is a rescue really the time and place to become pernickety?’
- ‘I do not wish to seem unduly pernickety but the point may have some relevance in future cases.’
- ‘She is no longer pernickety about her house and her possessions.’
- ‘This is partly due to the demands of an increasingly pernickety international audience ‘who get easily bored.’’
- ‘This is especially important for veggie or fussy diners who are pernickety about kitchen hygiene or the authenticity of their dishes.’
- ‘That was how pernickety she was when it came to driving.’
- 1.1 Requiring a particularly precise or careful approach.‘the system does not encourage additional enquiries on detailed and pernickety points’
attentive, conscientious, painstaking, meticulous, diligent, assiduous, sedulous, scrupulous, punctilious, fastidious, methodical, orderly, deliberate, judicious, perfectionistView synonyms
- ‘He assessed his questions with pernickety deliberation before replying.’
Early 19th century (originally Scots): of unknown origin. Compare with persnickety.
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