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nitpick

or nit-pick

[nit-pik]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to be excessively concerned with or critical of inconsequential details.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to criticize by focusing on inconsequential details.
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noun
  1. a carping, petty criticism.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a nitpicker or nitpicking.
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Origin of nitpick

First recorded in 1965–70; nit1 + pick1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for nit-picking

nit-picking

noun
  1. a concern with insignificant details, esp with the intention of finding fault
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adjective
  1. showing such a concern; fussy
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Derived Formsnit-picker, noun

Word Origin

C20: from nit 1 + pick 1
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 nit-picking

nitpick

v.

"seek petty faults," also nit-pick, 1962, back-formation from earlier nitpicker. Related: Nitpicking; nitpicky.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper