Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who is strict and precise in adherence to established rules, forms, or standards, especially with regard to religious observance or moral behavior.
  • n. A Puritan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A religious purist; a Puritan.
  • n. Someone who strictly observes the rules; a pedant or stickler.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who limits, or restrains.
  • n. An overprecise person; one rigidly or ceremoniously exact in the observance of rules; a formalist; -- formerly applied to the English Puritans.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Precise; punctiliously or ostentatiously observant of rules or doctrines.
  • Characteristic of precisians; puritanical.
  • n. One who adheres punctiliously to certain rules or observances; especially, one who is precise in matters of religion: often used depreciatingly with reference to the English Puritans of the seventeenth century.

Etymologies

From precise.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From precise +‎ -ian. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Scrivener and "precisian" as his father was, he was a skilled musician, and the boy inherited his father's skill on lute and organ.

    History of the English People, Volume V (of 8) Puritan England, 1603-1660

  • "precisian" zealots held, by the governor-general's permission and under his protection, a synod at Dort, June, 1586, and endeavoured to organise the Reformed Church in accordance with their strict principles of exclusiveness.

    History of Holland

  • It will be hours of argument with that rule-bound precisian Androctus, hours of searching for precedent in the Solamnic Measure of Knighthood.

    Virginity

  • Nobody is more free from the ostentatious correctness of the literary precisian, and nobody preserves so much purity and so much dignity of language with so little formality of demeanor.

    Voltaire

  • “Why, you are not turned precisian or puritan, fool?” said

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • I am, it may be, a little of a precisian, and I wish to

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • But here is what neither Papist nor Puritan, latitudinarian nor precisian, ever boggles or makes mouths at.

    Kenilworth

  • But since that, Tony married a pure precisian, and is as good

    Kenilworth

  • “How!” said Tressilian, who now for the first time interfered in their conversation; “did ye not say this Foster was married, and to a precisian?”

    Kenilworth

  • But do not be too much of a precisian, or "you will unnerve me of my strength."

    The CRATYLUS

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  • This day one plays a monarch, the next a private person; here one acts a tyrant, on the morrow an exile; a parasite this man to-night, to-morrow a precisian; and so of divers others. --An Excellent Actor, from Character Writings of the Seventeenth Century, 1891, p. 87.

    January 5, 2012