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pedant

[ped-nt]
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noun
  1. a person who makes an excessive or inappropriate display of learning.
  2. a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details.
  3. a person who adheres rigidly to book knowledge without regard to common sense.
  4. Obsolete. a schoolmaster.

Origin of pedant

1580–90; < Italian pedante teacher, pedant; apparently akin to pedagogue; see -ant
Related formsped·ant·esque, adjectiveped·ant·hood, noun

Synonyms

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2. hairsplitter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pedant

pedant

noun
  1. a person who relies too much on academic learning or who is concerned chiefly with insignificant detail
  2. archaic a schoolmaster or teacher

Word Origin

C16: via Old French from Italian pedante teacher; perhaps related to Latin paedagōgus pedagogue
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

Word Origin and History for pedant

n.

1580s, "schoolmaster," from Middle French pédant (1560s) or directly from Italian pedante, literally "teacher, schoolmaster," of uncertain origin, apparently an alteration of Late Latin paedagogantem (nominative paedagogans), present participle of paedagogare (see pedagogue). Meaning "person who trumpets minor points of learning" first recorded 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper