hairsplitting

[ hair-split-ing ]
/ ˈhɛərˌsplɪt ɪŋ /

noun

the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions.

adjective

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

Nearby words

  1. hairline fracture,
  2. hairnet,
  3. hairpiece,
  4. hairpin,
  5. hairsbreadth,
  6. hairspray,
  7. hairspring,
  8. hairstreak,
  9. hairstyle,
  10. hairstylist

Origin of hairsplitting

First recorded in 1820–30; hair + splitting

Related formshair·split·ter, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hairsplitting



British Dictionary definitions for hairsplitting

hairsplitting

/ (ˈhɛəˌsplɪtɪŋ) /

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