nitty-gritty

[ nit-ee-grit-ee ]
/ ˈnɪt iˈgrɪt i /
Slang.

noun

the essential substance or details of a matter; basics; crux: Let's skip the chitchat and get down to the nitty-gritty.

adjective

fundamental, detailed, or probing: nitty-gritty questions.
direct and practical: nitty-gritty advice; a nitty-gritty system.

QUIZZES

BEAT THE DOLDRUMS WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

We know you’ll tackle this quiz totis viribus! See how many words from the week of Oct 12–18, 2020 you get right!
Question 1 of 7
What does “Indigenous” mean?

Origin of nitty-gritty

An Americanism dating back to 1960–65; rhyming compound of uncertain origin

Words nearby nitty-gritty

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for nitty-gritty

British Dictionary definitions for nitty-gritty

nitty-gritty
/ (ˈnɪtɪˈɡrɪtɪ) /

noun

the nitty-gritty informal the basic facts of a matter, situation, etc; the core

Word Origin for nitty-gritty

C20: perhaps rhyming compound formed from grit
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