[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
And he needs to abandon the rhetorical high ground for the nitty-gritty of policy.
Twice have drowned, thrice let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
His algorithms are good at the nitty-gritty of generating completely novel protein sequences for a particular purpose.
It's time for a second report on the nitty-gritty of my frugal budget.
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