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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 meticulousness
  • Planned with characteristic meticulousness, this bold venture was also the result of happenstance.
  • He is the master clockmaker of novelists, piecing together the cogs and wheels of his plots with unerring meticulousness.
  • Intricate jurisdictional questions needed to be resolved with both alacrity and meticulousness.
  • But possessed by the meticulousness of a scientist, he never threw them away.
  • And his meticulousness extended to lengthy and vigilant postoperative care.
  • Afterward, both nations memorialized the horror with a meticulousness and an artistry never before seen.
  • Such nominal subjects are nowadays brought into play to take the stigma off meticulousness in draftsmanship.
  • Notes the importance of accomplishing this while also demanding meticulousness in students' work.
  • Demanding this type of meticulousness from police officers is not a technicality designed to impede law enforcement efforts.
  • One reviewer felt that there is impressive quality, impressive depth and meticulousness of thought applied to the cores.
British Dictionary definitions for meticulousness


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 meticulousness

1862, from meticulous + -ness. Earlier in the same sense was meticulosity (1650s).



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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