Definition of split hairs in English:

split hairs


  • Make small and overfine distinctions.

    ‘one of those medieval disputes which split hairs endlessly’
    • ‘I hate to split hairs here, but there's a difference between ‘might not be true’ and ‘knew the info was false.’’
    • ‘Okay, so maybe I'm splitting hairs, but whatever the case may be, it is delicious and I gorged myself on it this Thanksgiving weekend.’
    • ‘By this point we were probably splitting hairs.’
    • ‘One sentence in the manual required that lawyers participating in the recount should ‘have the courage to voice disagreement and must split hairs trying to find faults.’’
    • ‘One of the things I want to do is give this site a desperately needed spring-clean (yes, it's winter, but let's not split hairs, shall we?).’
    • ‘But even as the scientists and the Government split hairs over whether more stringent standards are required for bottled water, the consumers have no option but to go for what is available in the market.’
    • ‘I'm perhaps splitting hairs, here, but there has got to be a difference between drawing influence from various sources and plagiarizing.’
    • ‘I'm not splitting hairs - TV is different from real life.’
    • ‘It may come down to semantics and splitting hairs, but it doesn't actually say anywhere in the constitution that Japan can't have an army.’
    • ‘Yes, I do see the distinction and am perhaps splitting hairs over the delivery of the message.’
    quibble, raise trivial objections, find fault, cavil, carp, niggle, argue over nothing
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