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

  • n. One who is strict and precise in adherence to established rules, forms, or standards, especially with regard to religious observance or moral behavior.
  • n. A Puritan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A religious purist; a Puritan.
  • n. Someone who strictly observes the rules; a pedant or stickler.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who limits, or restrains.
  • n. An overprecise person; one rigidly or ceremoniously exact in the observance of rules; a formalist; -- formerly applied to the English Puritans.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Precise; punctiliously or ostentatiously observant of rules or doctrines.
  • Characteristic of precisians; puritanical.
  • n. One who adheres punctiliously to certain rules or observances; especially, one who is precise in matters of religion: often used depreciatingly with reference to the English Puritans of the seventeenth century.


From precise.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From precise +‎ -ian. (Wiktionary)


  • Scrivener and "precisian" as his father was, he was a skilled musician, and the boy inherited his father's skill on lute and organ.

    History of the English People, Volume V (of 8) Puritan England, 1603-1660

  • "precisian" zealots held, by the governor-general's permission and under his protection, a synod at Dort, June, 1586, and endeavoured to organise the Reformed Church in accordance with their strict principles of exclusiveness.

    History of Holland

  • It will be hours of argument with that rule-bound precisian Androctus, hours of searching for precedent in the Solamnic Measure of Knighthood.


  • Nobody is more free from the ostentatious correctness of the literary precisian, and nobody preserves so much purity and so much dignity of language with so little formality of demeanor.


  • “Why, you are not turned precisian or puritan, fool?” said

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • I am, it may be, a little of a precisian, and I wish to

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • But here is what neither Papist nor Puritan, latitudinarian nor precisian, ever boggles or makes mouths at.


  • But since that, Tony married a pure precisian, and is as good


  • “How!” said Tressilian, who now for the first time interfered in their conversation; “did ye not say this Foster was married, and to a precisian?”


  • But do not be too much of a precisian, or "you will unnerve me of my strength."



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  • This day one plays a monarch, the next a private person; here one acts a tyrant, on the morrow an exile; a parasite this man to-night, to-morrow a precisian; and so of divers others. --An Excellent Actor, from Character Writings of the Seventeenth Century, 1891, p. 87.

    January 5, 2012