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[muh-tik-yuh-luh s] /məˈtɪk yə ləs/
taking or showing extreme care about minute details; precise; thorough:
a meticulous craftsman; meticulous personal appearance.
finicky; fussy:
meticulous adherence to technicalities.
Origin of meticulous
1525-35; < Latin metīculōsus full of fear, fearful, equivalent to metī- for metū- (stem of metus fear) + -culōsus, extracted from perīculōsus perilous
Related forms
meticulously, adverb
meticulousness, meticulosity
[muh-tik-yuh-los-i-tee] /məˌtɪk yəˈlɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
unmeticulous, adjective
unmeticulously, adverb
unmeticulousness, noun
1. exact, strict, scrupulous.
1, 2. careless.
Synonym Study
1. See painstaking. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for meticulously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What little hair he did have left was meticulously shaved off every morning.

    Unwise Child Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Very often they are of all men the most meticulously mannered.

    Preaching and Paganism Albert Parker Fitch
  • The ship's log, meticulously kept in neat round English script, told a story that was more than the bare bones of flight.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • Others are meticulously insistent and exhaust all their challenges.

    The Man in Court Frederic DeWitt Wells
  • The voice was very gentle and pleasing to the ears, slowly and confidently spoken, meticulously articulated.

    The Revolutions of Time Jonathan Dunn
British Dictionary definitions for meticulously


very precise about details, even trivial ones; painstaking
Derived Forms
meticulously, adverb
meticulousness, noun
Word Origin
C16 (meaning: timid): from Latin meticulōsus fearful, from metus fear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meticulously

1680s, from meticulous + -ly (2).



1530s, "fearful, timid," from Latin meticulosus "fearful, timid," literally "full of fear," from metus "fear, dread, apprehension, anxiety," of unknown origin. Sense of "fussy about details" is first recorded in English 1827, from French méticuleux "timorously fussy." Related: Meticulosity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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