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[muh-tik-yuh-luh s] /məˈtɪk yə ləs/
taking or showing extreme care about minute details; precise; thorough:
a meticulous craftsman; meticulous personal appearance.
finicky; fussy:
meticulous adherence to technicalities.
Origin of meticulous
1525-35; < Latin metīculōsus full of fear, fearful, equivalent to metī- for metū- (stem of metus fear) + -culōsus, extracted from perīculōsus perilous
Related forms
meticulously, adverb
meticulousness, meticulosity
[muh-tik-yuh-los-i-tee] /məˌtɪk yəˈlɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
unmeticulous, adjective
unmeticulously, adverb
unmeticulousness, noun
1. exact, strict, scrupulous. See painstaking.
1, 2. careless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for meticulous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then he gave details of the affair; and he had as great a passion for the meticulous as a German historian.

    Mrs. Craddock W. Somerset Maugham
  • At least in his early works, he was meticulous in his research.

  • The scheme of Ibsen's drama was too vast for the very minute and meticulous method he chose to adopt.

    Henrik Ibsen Edmund Gosse
  • We must be artists as well as meticulous classifiers, cataloguers, and reasoners.

    The Heart of Nature Francis Younghusband
  • Neither had her father any of the misgivings so common and so hateful in meticulous old men.

    The Bastonnais John Lesperance
British Dictionary definitions for meticulous


very precise about details, even trivial ones; painstaking
Derived Forms
meticulously, adverb
meticulousness, noun
Word Origin
C16 (meaning: timid): from Latin meticulōsus fearful, from metus fear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meticulous

1530s, "fearful, timid," from Latin meticulosus "fearful, timid," literally "full of fear," from metus "fear, dread, apprehension, anxiety," of unknown origin. Sense of "fussy about details" is first recorded in English 1827, from French méticuleux "timorously fussy." Related: Meticulosity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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