Definition of persnickety in English:



North American
  • 1Placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy.

    ‘she's very persnickety about her food’
    • ‘The only cultural feature they are persnickety about is well-drained soil.’
    • ‘We sat in the back of her persnickety 1966 Ford Falcon for a few hours.’
    • ‘‘He's a real persnickety son-of-a-gun,’ says Campbell of the director.’
    • ‘And while she could occasionally be persnickety about certain things, she didn't need Dante telling her that.’
    • ‘Trailing fuchsias are especially persnickety about their environment.’
    • ‘Astaire, a professional dancer from the age of 7, did all of his own choreography, and he was as exacting about corrections as the most persnickety repetiteur.’
    • ‘Yesterday's, incidentally, introduced me to the wonderful word persnickety.’
    • ‘He is passionately persnickety in a way that Hollywood has typically undercut and portrayed as snobby.’
    • ‘He dropped all his other investigations and for two days solely observed this persnickety pulsar.’
    • ‘I watched them in disgust, thanking the Lord Almighty I am nothing near as persnickety as they are.’
    1. 1.1 Requiring a particularly precise or careful approach.
      ‘it's hard to find a film more persnickety and difficult to use than black-and-white infrared’
      • ‘This persnickety approach is forcing some companies to shape up.’


Late 19th century: alteration of pernickety.