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

  • adj. Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules: a pedantic attention to details.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Like a pedant, overly concerned with formal rules and trivial points of learning.
  • adj. Being showy of one’s knowledge, often in a boring manner.
  • adj. Being finicky or fastidious, especially with language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a pedant; characteristic of, or resembling, a pedant; ostentatious of learning

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a pedant or pedantry; overrating the importance of mere learning; also, making an undue or inappropriate display of learning; of language, style, etc., exhibiting pedantry; absurdly learned: as, a pedantic air.

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

  • adj. marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects


From pedant +‎ -ic. (Wiktionary)



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  • How about punctilious?

    September 23, 2013

  • I am desperately trying to remember a word. I came across it in a novel about two years ago and recently wanted to use it in an article I was writing. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember it.

    Its meaning is something like hair-splitting -- and a word close to its meaning is "cavillous". The word refers to distinctions that are excessive, perhaps pedantic, unnecessary or self-indulgent.

    I vaguely recall that the word starts with a "d" or a "p". Any ideas?


    September 20, 2013

  • There is nothing so pedantic as pretending not to be pedantic. No man can get above his pursuit in life: it is getting above himself, which is impossible.

    William Hazlitt, "On the Conversation of Authors"

    November 15, 2011

  • Don't forget the sour prentices.

    August 24, 2009

  • "Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide Late schooleboyes."
    - John Donne, 'Sunne Rising'.

    August 24, 2009

  • "annoyingly proud of learning"

    August 13, 2007

  • So, John, can I put the antic in pedantic? :-D

    January 5, 2007

  • Wordie apparently doesn't hold on to capitalizations.

    January 4, 2007

  • Maybe being pedantic is not necessarily a bad thing? Pedantry has just had a bad press in the past.

    December 31, 2006

  • Wordie is like the house that pedantry built. It's a machine for with which to be pedantic. It puts the ped in pedantry.

    December 31, 2006

  • Example: "Well, Lois, since you asked, I find this meatloaf rather shallow and pedantic."

    December 14, 2006

  • Geez, none of you guys capitalized it even!

    December 3, 2006