Definition of anal-retentive in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌeɪnəlrəˈtɛntɪv/


Excessively orderly and fussy (supposedly owing to conflict over toilet-training in infancy).
Example sentences
  • The mechanics at Hawk are very good at getting them absolutely immaculate, just the way I like them because they are the kind of anal-retentive people like me who like to get the bike so it's clean enough to eat your dinner off.
  • And here's the proof: a glorious four-CD retrospective that gathers album tracks, B-sides and rarities for fans and anal-retentive obsessives alike - and it's a joy.
  • A sleeper hit in Britain, Leaves has managed to bring both professional editors and amateur anal-retentive sticklers out of the closet to exalt the splendor of semicolons, the cunning of commas, the debonair of the dash.


A person who is excessively orderly and fussy.
Example sentences
  • The last couple of weeks have seen my routine disrupted, which is traumatic for us anal-retentives.
  • But, once again, we're just being anal-retentives so don't mind us.
  • The stuff you buy is the old pure beer, brewed and fermented by anal-retentives from ancient recipes.


anal retention

Example sentences
  • The logic leap in the revamped The Stepford Wives, which is real, also is a bit of anal retention that, like checking your watch, is a good indicator that you really aren't into the movie.
  • Sadly, directors Andrew Begg and Mark Williams have missed the opportunity to gently probe the peculiarity of this specialist subject and investigate the darker recesses of anal retention.
  • We use the same techniques in breaking in a glove as the position players do, there's just not as much anal retention going on.

anal retentiveness

Example sentences
  • Her short and sweet set consisted of three numbers: three funny, neurotic anecdotes about cats, anal retentiveness and the apocalypse.
  • Indeed, I would like to see a Freudian interpretation of social values related to constipation that particularly explores anal retentiveness and the use of dilators, vibrators and colonic irrigation as methods of prevention and cure.
  • His anal retentiveness - he must, must, MUST wipe the seat every time he sits down at their local coffee house - and perfect timing makes him one of the most endearing characters in television history.
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