hairsplitting

[hair-split-ing]

noun

the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions.

adjective

characterized by such distinctions: the hairsplitting arguments of a political debate.

Origin of hairsplitting

First recorded in 1820–30; hair + splitting
Related formshair·split·ter, noun

Synonyms for hairsplitting

2. quibbling, niggling, nitpicking, captious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for hairsplitting

Historical Examples of hairsplitting


British Dictionary definitions for hairsplitting

hairsplitting

noun

the making of petty distinctions

adjective

occupied with or based on petty distinctions
Derived Formshairsplitter, noun
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