Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Showing or acting with extreme care and concern for details.
  • adjective Archaic Excessively careful and precise.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Timid; over-careful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective archaic Timid; fearful.
  • adjective Taking great care to get every detail correct; working thoroughly and with precision.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective archaic Timid, fearful, overly cautious.
  • adjective Characterized by very precise, conscientious attention to details.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective marked by precise accordance with details
  • adjective marked by extreme care in treatment of details

Etymologies

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

[From Latin metīculōsus, timid, from metus, fear.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin meticulōsus ("full of fear, timid, fearful, terrible, frightful"), from metus ("fear") and -culōsus, extracted from perīculōsus ("perilous").

Examples

  • The report describes in meticulous detail over three volumes the failures of both the medical and legal systems.

    Dr. Sarita Verma at the Health Law Conference : Law is Cool

  • If I think something should be no-crimed then I write it up as such on the call log, in meticulous detail if necessary.

    ACPO blames front-line cops for doing their job SHOCK! « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • She was referring to her meticulous joke file, featured in her 2010 documentary, "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work."

    A Joan Rivers Moment

  • But with great patience, he always explained them to me in meticulous detail.

    Kien Nguyen talks about his grandfather, the inspiration for his first novel, The Tapestries

  • They plan it in meticulous detail over the course of a very condensed week.

    Seeing Double: No Country For Old Men / The Getaway » Scene-Stealers

  • Its greatest merit is to show in meticulous detail how the organized crime syndicate in the region, Camorra, has been able to forge relationships of mutual cooperation with a sizeable section of the local and national economies, and how legal and illegal production intersect and support each other.

    February 2008

  • Its greatest merit is to show in meticulous detail how the organized crime syndicate in the region, Camorra, has been able to forge relationships of mutual cooperation with a sizeable section of the local and national economies, and how legal and illegal production intersect and support each other.

    Italian fashion crimes

  • Its greatest merit is to show in meticulous detail how the organized crime syndicate in the region, Camorra, has been able to forge relationships of mutual cooperation with a sizeable section of the local and national economies, and how legal and illegal production intersect and support each other.

    Italian fashion crimes

  • An argument between married lawyers has continued longer than expected whilst each of them takes turns to cross-examine the other in meticulous detail.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • There was absolutely not another word Ian McEwan had to say, the subject had been turned inside out, described in meticulous detail and analysed down to the very last ... well to the very last I don't know what really, but no imagination was required, all this reader's work had been done.

    51 entries from August 2007

Comments

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  • Originally meant fearful, timid. Evolution: the fearful and timid tend to be very careful in the details of their lives.

    March 29, 2008

  • "Don’t take a perfectly good word and give it a new backside so it functions as something else. The New York Times does this all the time. Instead of saying, 'as a director, she is meticulous,' the reviewer will write, 'as a director, she is known for her meticulousness.' Until she is known for her obtuseness."

    - Pat Holt, 'The Ten Mistakes'.

    December 1, 2008

  • Those dopey Times reviewers. EVeryone knows the word is meticulosity.

    Think about it:

    curious -- curiosity

    generous -- generosity

    pompous -- pomposity

    viscous -- viscosity

    heterozygous - heterozygosity

    monstrous -- monstrosity

    ingenious -- ingeniosity

    fabulous -- fabulosity

    fuliginous -- fuliginosity

    religious -- religiosity

    etc etc

    December 1, 2008

  • So boisterosity? fastidiosity? gregariosity? studiosity? nervosity? obnoxiosity? piteosity? stupendosity? tenuosity? (aptly) ridiculosity?

    December 2, 2008

  • Worrrrrd: To sionnach AND sarra; well played articulation.

    May 21, 2009

  • marked by extreme care in treatment of details

    The Japanese noodle maker was meticulous in making his noodles and would never let another person take over the task.

    October 12, 2016