Definition of persnickety in English:



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

    ‘persnickety gardeners’
    ‘she's very persnickety about her food’
    • ‘And while she could occasionally be persnickety about certain things, she didn't need Dante telling her that.’
    • ‘He dropped all his other investigations and for two days solely observed this persnickety pulsar.’
    • ‘The only cultural feature they are persnickety about is well-drained soil.’
    • ‘He is passionately persnickety in a way that Hollywood has typically undercut and portrayed as snobby.’
    • ‘Trailing fuchsias are especially persnickety about their environment.’
    • ‘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.’


Early 19th century (originally Scots): of unknown origin.