• Placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy.
  • Requiring a particularly precise or careful approach.

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Example Sentences

“My cat sleeps all day, but when she wakes up, she’s persnickety and needs me to fix her food and water immediately.” 

“Some people call me persnickety, but I just like things a certain way.” 

“We hired the interviewee who seemed to have the most detailed portfolio — not quite persnickety, but carefully put together.”

Word Origin

American English, late 19th century

Why this word?

In British English, the “s” is missing from “persnickety” to create the word “pernickety,” but when the slang adjective to describe a fussy individual made it to America, it acquired the additional letter. The definitions are exactly the same for both versions, but perhaps a persnickety creature decided it sounded better with the “s” in the middle.

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