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nitpick

Definition:

to be overly critical; to criticize minor details

Class:

communication verb (telling, asking, ordering, singing, etc.)

Related to:

nitpicker

Past tense:

nitpicked

Present participle:

nitpicking

3rd-person singular present:

nitpicks

Type of:

knock » comment » note » state

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Synonyms:

nit-pick

Etymology:

nit + pick, originally referring to literally removing invisibly-tiny louse eggs...
(Source: Wiktionary)  [more]

Definition references

Wikipedia:

Nitpicking

the act of removing nits from the host's hair. As the nits are cemented to individual hairs, they cannot be removed with most lice combs and, before modern chemical methods were invented, the only options were to shave all the host's hair or to pick... (45 of 290 words, 1 image)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Nitpicking

Merriam-Webster:

nitpick | carp [synonym, sense-specific] | cavil [synonym, sense-specific] | fuss [synonym, sense-specific] | niggle [synonym, sense-specific] | quibble [synonym, sense-specific] | criticize [similar, sense-specific] | fault [similar, sense-specific] | beef [similar, sense-specific] | ...

to engage in nit-picking | to criticize by nit-picking (8 of 107 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/nitpick

Macmillan British Dictionary:

nitpick [intransitive/transitive] | nitpicker [singular] | nitpickers [plural] | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present]

to criticize small unimportant details of something in a way that annoys other people (14 of 46 words, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/nitpick

Wiktionary:

nitpick | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present] | cavil [synonym, sense-specific]

To correct minutiae or find fault in unimportant details; to kvetch. | [archaic] To pick nits - lice eggs - from someone's hair. (22 of 43 words, 2 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/nitpick

Random House Dictionary:

nitpick | nit-pick [sense-specific]

to be excessively concerned with or critical of inconsequential details. | to criticize by focusing on inconsequential details. | a carping, petty ... (20 of 40 words, 4 definitions, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/nitpick

New World Dictionary:

nitpick [United States] | nit-picker

to find fault with (someone or something) in a manner that is finicky or petty (15 of 26 words)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/nitpick

Cambridge Dictionary:

nitpick [informal, disapproving] | nitpicker [noun, derived]

to find faults in details which are not important (9 of 25 words, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/nitpick

American Heritage Dictionary:

nitpick | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present] | quibble [synonym] | nitpicker [noun, related]

To be concerned with or find fault with insignificant details. (10 of 21 words)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/nitpick

Collins Dictionary:

nit-pick [informal]

to raise petty objections or concern oneself with insignificant details (10 of 235 words, 2 usage examples)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/nit-pick

Oxford Dictionary:

nitpicking | nitpick [derived] | nitpicker [derived] | nitpicky [derived]

Syllabification: (nitĀ·pickĀ·ing) [informal] | looking for small or unimportant errors or faults, especially in order to criticize unnecessarily | fussy ... (18 of 56 words, 3 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/american english​/nitpicking

nitpicking [informal] | nitpick [derived] | nitpicker [derived] | nitpicky [derived]

fussy or pedantic fault-finding (4 of 43 words, 2 usage examples)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/nitpicking

Encarta Dictionary:

nitpick | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present] | nitpicker [noun, derived] | nitpicky [adjective, derived]

to find insignificant details of something unsatisfactory, often unjustifiably (9 of 45 words, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861683452​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Wiktionary:

nitpick | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: nit + pick, originally referring to literally removing invisibly-tiny louse eggs by hand.

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/nitpick

Merriam-Webster:

nitpick

First use: 1966

Origin: back-formation from nit-picking

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/nitpick

nit-picking

First use: 1956

Origin: nit

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/nit-picking

New World Dictionary:

nitpick [United States]

Origin: back-formation from "nit-picking"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/nitpick

nit-picking [United States]

Origin: "nit" + "pick"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/nit-picking

Audio references

Wiktionary:

nitpick | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "nitpick"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/nitpick

Macmillan British Dictionary:

nitpick [intransitive/transitive] | nitpicker [singular] | nitpickers [plural] | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "nitpick"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/nitpick

Macmillan American Dictionary:

nitpick [intransitive/transitive] | nitpicker [singular] | nitpickers [plural] | nitpicked [past tense] | nitpicking [present participle] | nitpicks [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "nitpick"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/nitpick

Cambridge Dictionary:

nitpick [informal, disapproving]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "nitpick"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "nitpick"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/nitpick

the Free Dictionary:

nitpick

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "nitpick"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "nitpick"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "nitpick" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/nitpick

nit-pick

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "nit-pick"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "nit-pick"

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/nit-pick

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

nitpick

Audio: North American pronunciation of "nitpick"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=nitpic​01 word=nitpick

YourDictionary Audio:

nitpick

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "nitpick"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/nitpick

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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