[nit-ee-grit-ee] Slang.
the essential substance or details of a matter; basics; crux: Let's skip the chitchat and get down to the nitty-gritty.
fundamental, detailed, or probing: nitty-gritty questions.
direct and practical: nitty-gritty advice; a nitty-gritty system.

1960–65, Americanism; rhyming compound of uncertain origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nitty-gritty (ˈnɪtɪˈɡrɪtɪ)
informal the nitty-gritty the basic facts of a matter, situation, etc; the core
[C20: perhaps rhyming compound formed from grit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"basic facts," 1961, knitty-gritty, Amer.Eng., said to have been chiefly used by black jazz musicians, perhaps ult. from nit and grits "finely ground corn."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Getting to the nitty gritty and going to a expert on frozen microbes is not going to help.
In mice, a series of new studies has finally begun to get down to the nitty gritty of probiotic success and failure.
To get at the nitty gritty it is necessary to dive into molecular biology.
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