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

  • intransitive verb To be concerned with or find fault with insignificant details. synonym: quibble.
  • intransitive verb To criticize or find fault with (someone or something) in a petty way.

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

  • verb To correct minutiae or find fault in unimportant details; to kvetch.
  • verb archaic To pick nits - lice eggs - from someone’s hair.

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

  • verb be overly critical; criticize minor details


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From nit +‎ pick, originally referring to literally removing invisibly-tiny louse eggs by hand.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word nitpick.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • to look for nits

    June 20, 2008