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punctilio

[puhngk-til-ee-oh]
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noun, plural punc·til·i·os for 1.
  1. a fine point, particular, or detail, as of conduct, ceremony, or procedure.
  2. strictness or exactness in the observance of formalities or amenities.
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Origin of punctilio

1590–1600; alteration of Italian puntiglio < Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto < Latin pūnctum point
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for punctilio

Historical Examples

  • Punctilio at an end, the moment she is out of her father's house.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Punctilio is out of doors the moment you are out of your father's house.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But if you cannot despise and hate him—if you care not to break with him, you must part with some punctilio's.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Punctilio will, at any time, stand for reason with such an one.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Very honorable indeed; but at this moment we must waive a punctilio.


British Dictionary definitions for punctilio

punctilio

noun plural -os
  1. strict attention to minute points of etiquette
  2. a petty formality or fine point of etiquette
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Word Origin

C16: from Italian puntiglio small point, from punto point, from Latin punctum point
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 punctilio

n.

1590s, "point," also "detail of action," from Italian puntiglio or Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto "point" (see point (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper