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nitty-gritty

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

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

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. 2021

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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
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