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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce pedantic (audio)

Dictionary definition of pedantic

Overly concerned with minor details, rules, or formalities, especially in an academic or intellectual context.
"He was known for his pedantic adherence to the rules."

Detailed meaning of pedantic

Pedantic individuals often have a tendency to show off their knowledge and may be perceived as being more concerned with the form of their language rather than its content. They tend to be nitpicky and might point out minor errors in someone else's work or language usage. While pedantry can sometimes be helpful in academic settings, it can also be seen as irritating or unnecessary.

Example sentences containing pedantic

1. He had a pedantic approach to grammar, always correcting others' language usage.
2. The professor's pedantic lectures often left the students feeling overwhelmed.
3. She had a pedantic obsession with details, often getting caught up in minor points.
4. The pedantic writer meticulously adhered to every grammar rule in their writing.
5. His pedantic nature made it difficult for him to engage in casual conversations.
6. The pedantic scholar insisted on citing every source and providing excessive footnotes.

History and etymology of pedantic

The adjective 'pedantic' finds its etymological roots in the Latin word 'paedanticus,' which, in turn, is derived from the Greek 'paedantikos.' Originally, it referred to someone who was concerned with the education of children or who displayed the qualities of a pedagogue, emphasizing strict adherence to rules and details in teaching. Over time, the term evolved to take on a more negative connotation, describing individuals who overly emphasize minor details, rules, or formalities, particularly in an academic or intellectual context, to the detriment of a broader understanding or practicality. Thus, the etymology of 'pedantic' highlights its historical association with strict adherence to rules and details, often to an excessive and narrow degree.

Quiz: Find the meaning of pedantic

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Further usage examples of pedantic

1. She became known for her pedantic behavior, always eager to showcase her knowledge.
2. The pedantic editor meticulously scrutinized every sentence for errors.
3. His pedantic lectures were filled with unnecessary jargon, making it hard to understand the main points.
4. The pedantic critic tore apart the film, focusing on minor technical flaws.
5. Her pedantic nature led her to constantly correct others, causing annoyance.
6. The pedantic speaker overwhelmed the audience with unnecessary details.
7. The pedantic student nitpicked every assignment, looking for errors and inconsistencies.
8. His pedantic obsession with accuracy made him an excellent fact-checker.
9. The pedantic artist meticulously planned every stroke of the brush, striving for perfection.
10. The pedantic librarian insisted on strict adherence to the cataloging system.
11. She had a pedantic approach to cooking, following recipes to the letter.
12. The pedantic historian painstakingly researched every detail of the event.
13. His pedantic nature sometimes overshadowed the main message of his presentations.
14. The pedantic language used in the legal document made it difficult to understand.



meticulous, imprecise, careless, sloppy


GRE 4 (Graduate Record Examination), Advice and Guidance, Wisdom and Understanding, Insight and Intelligence

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