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

  • adj. Overparticular about trivial details; fastidious.
  • adj. Snobbish; pretentious.
  • adj. Requiring strict attention to detail; demanding: a persnickety job.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fastidious or fussy.
  • adj. Obsessive about mundane details, demanding for precision.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Finicky or fussy; demanding attention to petty details; -- of people.
  • adj. snobbish; behaving aloofly.

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

  • adj. characterized by excessive precision and attention to trivial details
  • adj. (used colloquially) overly conceited or arrogant


Alteration of pernickety.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of pernickety (Wiktionary)



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  • "There was to be a little time of authentic beauty, however, before we ran full tilt upon the snobberies, the pernickities of the artist world upon that comic island, England." Frances Gregg, The Mystic Leeway.

    July 13, 2013

  • "For a persnickety bureaucrat such as Flood, not getting the answers he demanded aggravated him greatly..."
    —Brian Hicks, Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew (NY: Ballantine Books, 2004), 107

    I've known this word since childhood, and have never seen pernickety (that I can recall), so I thought I'd add this usage and see if we can get a good umbrage-fight started.

    September 18, 2009

  • Yes. I can see myself in the future - and I still can remember this word vividly - because perse means ass|buttocks in Finnish. So, s-version it is, for me.

    March 1, 2009

  • One of those non-onomatopoeias that sounds exactly like what it means.

    October 14, 2007

  • See pernickety.

    August 16, 2007