a person who makes an excessive or inappropriate display of learning.
a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details.
a person who adheres rigidly to book knowledge without regard to common sense.
Obsolete. a schoolmaster.

1580–90; < Italian pedante teacher, pedant; apparently akin to pedagogue; see -ant

pedantesque, adjective
pedanthood, noun

2. hairsplitter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pedant (ˈpɛdənt)
1.  a person who relies too much on academic learning or who is concerned chiefly with insignificant detail
2.  archaic a schoolmaster or teacher
[C16: via Old French from Italian pedante teacher; perhaps related to Latin paedagōguspedagogue]

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

1588, "schoolmaster," from M.Fr. pédant (1566), from It. pedante "teacher, schoolmaster," apparently an alteration of L.L. paedagogantem (nom. paedagogans), prp. of paedagogare (see pedagogue). Meaning "person who trumpets minor points of learning" first recorded 1596.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It will be painful for the pedants, but beneficial in the long run.
Some ridiculous pedants on here discussing spelling instead of this wonderful
  astronomical event.
Dainty aesthetes and goateed pedants could apply elsewhere.
As in duty bound, he who had been admitted to these banquets of wit and sense
  defended them against the detraction of pedants.
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