Definition of technicality in US English:



  • 1A point of law or a small detail of a set of rules.

    ‘their convictions were overturned on a technicality’
    • ‘The Tennessee Supreme Court eventually reversed that conviction on a technicality, and the law was finally repealed in 1967.’
    • ‘In any event, no serious artiste should want to enter any level of competition purely on the basis of a loophole or technicality.’
    • ‘And in a third major terrorism case, the Justices ruled on a technicality, sidestepping the merits of that case.’
    • ‘But this is all a matter of procedure and technicality, not the moral heart of the matter.’
    • ‘The only people it really helps are those accused of crime in the courts, to allow them sometimes to get off on a technicality.’
    • ‘The case was then sent back for a retrial on a technicality.’
    • ‘Charges of making false medical aid claims against him were dropped on a technicality and he instantly claimed he was innocent.’
    • ‘They won on a technicality and now I am supposed to pay a lot of money which I won't pay.’
    • ‘So it's a formal legal rule that has saved them, rather than a technicality.’
    • ‘A charge was brought against the officer who was found not guilty on a technicality.’
    • ‘This conviction was later overturned on a technicality.’
    • ‘Who knows, maybe something good will come of this, or maybe, as often happens, the whole process will get stuck in some kind of regulation technicality or other.’
    • ‘The Court must rule on a technicality about the institution's legal status, not that the director was a serial abuser.’
    • ‘The civil case was dismissed on a technicality but was later revived.’
    • ‘Having decided the decision between borrowers and lenders on the legal interpretation of a single word, he then hides behind another technicality.’
    • ‘Often, forensic testimony is dismissed on a technicality, like an assumption the investigator made or the way he described something to the jury.’
    • ‘The life of a prosecutor is not an easy one especially when offenders are acquitted on a technicality.’
    • ‘He was acquitted on a technicality last month, but has been asked by the government to provide a full explanation for his conduct.’
    • ‘But the conviction was overturned on a technicality.’
    • ‘New guidelines to independent appeals panels call for them to take into account the impact on the whole school of bringing back excluded pupils, and not to reinstate pupils on a technicality.’
    unimportant point, insignificant item, trivial fact, nicety, subtlety
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    1. 1.1technicalities The specific details or terms belonging to a particular field.
      ‘he has great expertise in the technicalities of the game’
      • ‘Rob, though, feels a professional and moral obligation to put technicalities in plain terms.’
      • ‘Previously the field was very messy, in terms of the technicalities.’
      • ‘You know Lou, I really don't know the technicalities of the issue in terms of that.’
      • ‘Some saw the ad as providing explanation and making them think, but for others there were too many technicalities to come to terms with.’
      details, niceties, subtleties, finer points, particulars, specifics
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    2. 1.2 The state of being technical; the use of technical terms or methods.
      ‘the extreme technicality of the proposed constitution’
      • ‘The nature of average war cinema is one that trivializes the human consequences of war for a focus on pure excitement, strategy and technicality.’
      • ‘Some level of technicality in the treatment seems unavoidable.’
      • ‘He skilfully manages to convey the meat of the science without undue technicality, but also without any dumbing down.’
      • ‘Traditional ballet as a whole is being laid to rest in the ethereal stage technicality of rolling smoke and the dancers playing dead.’
      • ‘The band's strong technicality is vividly evident throughout.’