[fa-stid-ee-uh s, fuh-]


excessively particular, critical, or demanding; hard to please: a fastidious eater.
requiring or characterized by excessive care or delicacy; painstaking.

Origin of fastidious

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin fastīdiōsus squeamish, equivalent to fastīdi(um) lack of appetite, disgust, perhaps by syncope of *fastutīdium (fastu-, combining form of fastus pride, conceit + -tīdium combining form of taedium tedium) + -ōsus -ous
Related formsfas·tid·i·ous·ly, adverbfas·tid·i·ous·ness, nounhy·per·fas·tid·i·ous, adjectivehy·per·fas·tid·i·ous·ly, adverbhy·per·fas·tid·i·ous·ness, nounnon·fas·tid·i·ous, adjectivenon·fas·tid·i·ous·ly, adverbnon·fas·tid·i·ous·ness, nouno·ver·fas·tid·i·ous, adjectiveo·ver·fas·tid·i·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·fas·tid·i·ous·ness, nounul·tra·fas·tid·i·ous, adjectiveul·tra·fas·tid·i·ous·ly, adverbul·tra·fas·tid·i·ous·ness, nounun·fas·tid·i·ous, adjectiveun·fas·tid·i·ous·ly, adverbun·fas·tid·i·ous·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See particular. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fastidious

Contemporary Examples of fastidious

Historical Examples of fastidious

  • What would he, so fastidious as he was, think of that poster?

  • The squirrel is provident, but no more so than he is fastidious in the choice of his food.

  • However, she was as fastidious about what she did for herself as about what was done for her.

  • You can afford, you see, to keep a fine taste, and fastidious feelings!

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • And yet the picture before him could have scarcely been unpleasing to the most fastidious eye.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

British Dictionary definitions for fastidious



very critical; hard to please
excessively particular about details
exceedingly delicate; easily disgusted
Derived Formsfastidiously, adverbfastidiousness, noun

Word Origin for fastidious

C15: from Latin fastīdiōsus scornful, from fastīdium loathing, from fastus pride + taedium weariness
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 fastidious

mid-15c., "full of pride," from Latin fastidiosus "disdainful, squeamish, exacting," from fastidium "loathing, squeamishness," most likely from *fastu-taidiom, a compound of fastus "contempt, arrogance" and taedium "aversion, disgust." Early use in English was both in passive and active senses. Meaning "squeamish, over-nice" emerged in English 1610s. Related: Fastidiously; fastidiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fastidious in Medicine


[fă-stĭdē-əs, fə-]


Possessing or displaying careful, meticulous attention to detail.
Difficult to please; exacting.
Having complex nutritional requirements. Used of microorganisms.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.