- a fine point, particular, or detail, as of conduct, ceremony, or procedure.
- strictness or exactness in the observance of formalities or amenities.
Origin of punctilio
1590–1600; alteration of Italian puntiglio < Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto < Latin pūnctum point
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for punctilio
Punctilio at an end, the moment she is out of her father's house.
Punctilio is out of doors the moment you are out of your father's house.
But if you cannot despise and hate him—if you care not to break with him, you must part with some punctilio's.
Punctilio will, at any time, stand for reason with such an one.
Very honorable indeed; but at this moment we must waive a punctilio.The Knight Of Gwynne, Vol. I (of II)
Charles James Lever
- strict attention to minute points of etiquette
- a petty formality or fine point of etiquette
C16: from Italian puntiglio small point, from punto point, from Latin punctum point
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 punctilio
1590s, "point," also "detail of action," from Italian puntiglio or Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto "point" (see point (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper