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 meticulousness

Contemporary Examples of meticulousness

Historical Examples of meticulousness

  • But most of its contents suffer, not merely from Naturalist grime, but from Naturalist meticulousness.

  • The whole area was under Roman rule and was subjected to the industriousness and meticulousness of Empire.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

British Dictionary definitions for meticulousness



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 meticulousness

1862, from meticulous + -ness. Earlier in the same sense was meticulosity (1650s).



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