taking or showing extreme care about minute details; precise; thorough: a meticulous craftsman; meticulous personal appearance.
finicky; fussy: meticulous adherence to technicalities.

Origin of meticulous

1525–35; < Latin metīculōsus full of fear, fearful, equivalent to metī- for metū- (stem of metus fear) + -culōsus, extracted from perīculōsus perilous
Related formsme·tic·u·lous·ly, adverbme·tic·u·lous·ness, me·tic·u·los·i·ty [muh-tik-yuh-los-i-tee] /məˌtɪk yəˈlɒs ɪ ti/, nounun·me·tic·u·lous, adjectiveun·me·tic·u·lous·ly, adverbun·me·tic·u·lous·ness, noun

Synonyms for meticulous

Synonym study

1. See painstaking.

Antonyms for meticulous

1, 2. careless. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meticulously

Contemporary Examples of meticulously

Historical Examples of meticulously

  • Furthermore, her face and body were meticulously symmetrical.

    The Perfectionists

    Arnold Castle

  • What little hair he did have left was meticulously shaved off every morning.

    Unwise Child

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • But once he realized that, he meticulously joked about them.

    At the Post

    Horace Leonard Gold

  • It may be putting it strong; but it is also meticulously and simply—true.

  • Very often they are of all men the most meticulously mannered.

    Preaching and Paganism

    Albert Parker Fitch

British Dictionary definitions for meticulously



very precise about details, even trivial ones; painstaking
Derived Formsmeticulously, adverbmeticulousness, noun

Word Origin for meticulous

C16 (meaning: timid): from Latin meticulōsus fearful, from metus fear
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 meticulously

1680s, from meticulous + -ly (2).



1530s, "fearful, timid," from Latin meticulosus "fearful, timid," literally "full of fear," from metus "fear, dread, apprehension, anxiety," of unknown origin. Sense of "fussy about details" is first recorded in English 1827, from French méticuleux "timorously fussy." Related: Meticulosity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper