Definitions

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

  • noun The ostentatious display of academic knowledge, or undue attention paid to minor details or formal rules.
  • noun An instance of pedantic behavior.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The manners, acts, or character of a pedant; the overrating of mere knowledge, especially of matters of learning which are really of minor importance; also, ostentatious or inappropriate display of learning.
  • noun Undue addiction to the forms of a particular profession, or of some one line of life.

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

  • noun The act, character, or manners of a pedant; vain ostentation of learning.

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

  • noun An excessive attention to detail or rules.
  • noun An instance of such behaviour.
  • noun An overly ambitious display of learning.

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

  • noun an ostentatious and inappropriate display of learning

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

pedant + -ry. From Middle French pedant, pedante, from Italian pedante ("a teacher, schoolmaster, pedant"), of uncertain origin, traced by some sources to Latin paedagogans, present participle of paedagogare ( = to teach, from Greek "paedagogein" = to instruct children ). Confer French pédanterie.

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