overly concerned with minor details and rules or displaying one’s learning or education excessively; having a narrow, superficial focus on academic minutiae and formality at the expense of more important or meaningful elements


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



meticulous, precise, fastidious, scholarly, nitpicky, academic, scholarly, fussy, scholarly, scholarly, strict, stiff


relaxed, casual, informal, unassuming, broad-minded, open-minded

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun pedantries, pedants, pedant, pedantry
Verb None
Adjective pedantic
Adverb pedantically

Example Sentences

  • He was criticized for being too pedantic in his approach to teaching, spending too much time on minor details and not enough on the big picture.

  • The research paper was well-written but too pedantic, filled with technical jargon and academic references that made it difficult to understand.

  • She was known for her pedantic personality, always correcting others’ grammar and pronunciation and being overly concerned with etiquette and proper manners.

  • John’s pedantic nature made him the go-to person for grammar questions, but his constant corrections and nitpicking could be tiresome for others.


The word “pedantic” originated in the 17th century and is derived from the Latin word “paedanticus,” which means “teacher-like” or “instructive.” Its root is “paedagogus,” which refers to a teacher or instructor. The term was initially used to describe someone who was overly concerned with minor details, rules, or formalities, resembling the behavior of a strict teacher.

Today, “pedantic” is used to describe someone who is overly concerned with precision, correctness, or adherence to rules, often to the point of being annoying or excessive. It is associated with a display of excessive knowledge or a condescending attitude towards others. People who are described as pedantic may focus on small details, nitpick language usage, or insist on following strict interpretations of rules or conventions.

The word “pedantic” is an adjective, and it is generally used to criticize or describe a particular behavior or attitude. It emphasizes an excessive focus on details, rules, or knowledge without considering the broader context or practicality. While it can be used in a neutral or positive sense to describe someone who has a deep knowledge or expertise in a subject, it often carries a negative connotation, suggesting a lack of flexibility or a tendency to prioritize correctness over meaningful communication.

There are no commonly used prefixes, suffixes, or variations for the word “pedantic.” It stands alone as an adjective, capturing the essence of being overly concerned with rules, details, or formalities.