from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Psychology Indicating personality traits, such as meticulousness, avarice, and obstinacy, originating in habits, attitudes, or values associated with infantile pleasure in retention of feces.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Preoccupied with achieving order and control and with collecting, possessing, and retaining objects.
- adj. Overly obsessive concerning small details.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It's easy to maintain and good protection without being overly anal-retentive or time consuming.
If you've never spotted him hawking his wares on QVC, where he appears regularly, then perhaps you've seen him on "Flipping Out," Bravo's hit reality show starring Jeff Lewis, the infamously obsessive-compulsive and anal-retentive house-flipper and designer, who is renovating the Chaz Dean Studio.
Everyone else looks at you and sees an obsessive-compulsive, anal-retentive insomniac with a pen fetish.
The Turks and the British shared an anal-retentive streak in Empire management and the historical provenance is unanswerable.
The unlikely teamup of the anal-retentive geek and the hard-edged badass work well and the pacing is good for this rather short movie.
If my inbox shows more than 60 emails sitting there waiting to be answered or taken care of in some way, I get very anxious (yes, I'm a bit anal-retentive).
This, on the other hand, I read because I wanted to see how it came out, not because I spell anal-retentive with the hyphen in.
Figures for acceptable purses in the most high-profile events, worked out to the last pound in anal-retentive detail, are suddenly irrelevant.
And architecture before and after Palladio had a grace (in the works of Brunelleschi and Bramante) and whimsy (the splendors of the baroque) that is kept muted in the anal-retentive purity of Palladio's style.
She's a dictionary fan who even coined the joke, "Does 'anal-retentive' have a hyphen?" back in 1990.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.