[ ped-nt ]
See synonyms for pedant on
  1. a person who makes an excessive or inappropriate display of learning.

  2. a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details.

  1. a person who adheres rigidly to book knowledge without regard to common sense.

  2. Obsolete. a schoolmaster.

Origin of pedant

First recorded in 1580–90; from Italian pedante “teacher, pedant”; apparently akin to pedagogue; see -ant

Other words for pedant

Other words from pedant

  • ped·ant·esque, adjective
  • ped·ant·hood, noun

Words Nearby pedant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pedant in a sentence

  • Call me a Limbaugh pedant, but Rush is on in the afternoon; has been for 22 years.

    Rush Limbaugh! The Musical | Rick Perlstein | February 3, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • In a few years the girl he had married would be a plain and prickly little pedant—ill-bred besides—and he knew it.

    Marriage la mode | Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • I have not wanted friends, even among strangers, who have defended me more strongly, than my contemptible pedant could attack me.

  • Yes; but the Wagner sort of pedant would get entangled in his round of history—in his historical resemblances.

    Friends in Council | Arthur Helps
  • Aldus the younger, was a precocious scholar, of the pedant type, and under him the traditions of the family rapidly fell.

    Printers' Marks | William Roberts
  • The man of routine, the mere pedant, the mere deprecator of mistakes, asks always for a precedent.

    Edward Hoare, M.A. | Edward Hoare

British Dictionary definitions for pedant


/ (ˈpɛdənt) /

  1. a person who relies too much on academic learning or who is concerned chiefly with insignificant detail

  2. archaic a schoolmaster or teacher

Origin of pedant

C16: via Old French from Italian pedante teacher; perhaps related to Latin paedagōgus pedagogue

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