hairsplitting

[hair-split-ing]
noun
1.
the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions.
adjective
2.
characterized by such distinctions: the hairsplitting arguments of a political debate.

Origin:
1820–30; hair + splitting

hairsplitter, noun


2. quibbling, niggling, nitpicking, captious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To hairsplitting
Collins
World English Dictionary
hairsplitting (ˈhɛəˌsplɪtɪŋ)
 
n
1.  the making of petty distinctions
 
adj
2.  occupied with or based on petty distinctions
 
'hairsplitter
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Hypercorrectness is another word for it, as is hairsplitting and nitpicking.
But the arid legal hairsplitting that dominates that chamber poses fewer policy problems than the messier lower courts do.
Unfortunately, the book is more hairsplitting than revisionist.
Remember that even hairsplitting is not so bad if what is inside the hair turns out to be important.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;