See more synonyms for hairsplitting on
  1. 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

See more synonyms for on
2. quibbling, niggling, nitpicking, captious. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hairsplitting

Historical Examples of hairsplitting

British Dictionary definitions for hairsplitting


  1. the making of petty distinctions
  1. 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