extremely attentive to punctilios; strict or exact in the observance of the formalities or amenities of conduct or actions.

Origin of punctilious

First recorded in 1625–35; punctili(o) + -ous
Related formspunc·til·i·ous·ly, adverbpunc·til·i·ous·ness, nounun·punc·til·i·ous, adjectiveun·punc·til·i·ous·ly, adverbun·punc·til·i·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedpunctilious punctual

Synonyms for punctilious

Antonyms for punctilious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for punctiliousness

Historical Examples of punctiliousness

  • It must be confessed that this species of punctiliousness was carried too far.

  • Kilbourne's punctiliousness was exaggerated, but she thought she understood it.

    A Sheaf of Corn

    Mary E. Mann

  • This punctiliousness about titles has more in it than shews at first sight.

    Sebastian Bach

    Reginald Lane Poole

  • These embassies were always conducted with punctiliousness and gravity.

    Stover at Yale

    Owen Johnson

  • And that is the end of the story of the punctiliousness of Don Sebastian.


    William Somerset Maugham

British Dictionary definitions for punctiliousness



paying scrupulous attention to correctness in etiquette
attentive to detail
Derived Formspunctiliously, adverbpunctiliousness, 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

Word Origin and History for punctiliousness



1630s, probably from Italian puntiglioso, from puntiglio "fine point," from Latin punctum "prick" (see point (n.)). Related: Punctiliously; punctiliousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper