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Line breaks: punc|tili¦ous
Pronunciation: /pʌŋ(k)ˈtɪlɪəs

Definition of punctilious in English:


Showing great attention to detail or correct behaviour: he was punctilious in providing every amenity for his guests
More example sentences
  • A punctilious listing of every detail produces prose that is prolix.
  • But the methodology is painstakingly punctilious due to the heavy editing involved.
  • As a teenager he was not particularly punctilious in following the observances of his religion.
fussy, fastidious, hair-splitting, finicky, finical, demanding, exacting, pedantic
North American informal persnickety
archaic nice, overnice, laborious


mid 17th century: from French pointilleux, from pointille, from Italian puntiglio (see punctilio).



Example sentences
  • As I would expect from any chef with a season in Bibendum behind him, the basics were carefully done, the details punctiliously attended to, the whole satisfying at every level.
  • I should say he observed the rules punctiliously and if there has been a technical infringement I am sure he will have apologised.
  • A classic illustration is the fate of a hated major at Blenheim, whose grenadiers punctiliously granted his request to take his chances with enemy bullets, and only shot him after the battle was over.


Example sentences
  • If government in our representative democracy is supposed to respond to people's stated concerns, then government punctiliousness about privacy might actually be exceeding the public's demands.
  • Welfare agencies divide people into racial groups for statistical purposes with a punctiliousness I have not experienced since I lived, briefly, in apartheid South Africa a quarter of a century ago.
  • But it is apparent that she does not bring to her financial affairs the punctiliousness she displays when wrapping the dog's biscuit in lace or sprinkling oatmeal with gold dust.

Definition of punctilious in:

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lively; cheerful