[ per-nik-i-tee ]


Origin of pernickety

1800–10; originally Scots; of uncertain origin; the prefix per- occurs in a number of other expressive words in Scots, e.g. pergaddus thump, clatter, perskeet fastidious, perjink trim, neat

Other words from pernickety

  • per·nick·et·i·ness, noun

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

How to use pernickety in a sentence

  • Besides, she was dretful pernickety about folks comin' into the yard.

    Narcissa, or the Road to Rome | Laura E. Richards
  • It's a business, and a very pernickety one to boot, and it's to keep Bart away from business that we are striving.

    The Garden, You, and I | Mabel Osgood Wright
  • "Ada is very pernickety," she said, smiling towards that individual conversing with Dick.

    Red Pottage | Mary Cholmondeley
  • You didn't use to be so pernickety, when you was punchin' on the range, Lon.

  • I remember she was most pernickety about her blacks after my father's death.

    The Judge | Rebecca West

British Dictionary definitions for pernickety


US persnickety

/ (pəˈnɪkɪtɪ) /

  1. excessively precise and attentive to detail; fussy

  2. (of a task) requiring close attention; exacting

Origin of pernickety

C19: originally Scottish, of unknown origin

Derived forms of pernickety

  • pernicketiness or US persnicketiness, noun

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