Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[puhngk-til-ee-uh s] /pʌŋkˈtɪl i əs/
extremely attentive to punctilios; strict or exact in the observance of the formalities or amenities of conduct or actions.
Origin of punctilious
1625-35; punctili(o) + -ous
Related forms
punctiliously, adverb
punctiliousness, noun
unpunctilious, adjective
unpunctiliously, adverb
unpunctiliousness, noun
Can be confused
punctilious, punctual.
precise, demanding; careful, conscientious. See scrupulous.
careless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for punctilious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This reference, which was receive with smiles by the Imperial Parliament, was certain to irritate a punctilious republic.

    Penguin Island Anatole France
  • Indeed I think you are too punctilious a great deal for you situation.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Tom saw through the punctilious feints and solemn stratagems clearly; Dora did the same as plainly.

    A Houseful of Girls Sarah Tytler
  • What he discovered justified all the years of punctilious discharge of his duties.

    The Stutterer R.R. Merliss
  • An old, gray-haired butler stood on the threshold, and greeted them with rather pompous respect and punctilious deference.

    Patty's Friends Carolyn Wells
  • Their relation had never been sentimental, but he had always been punctilious.

    The Coast of Chance Esther Chamberlain
  • Who can establish the punctilious ratio between necessity and desire?

  • Now Pitt was neat and punctilious in his attire, but he was no dandy.

    William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose
British Dictionary definitions for punctilious


paying scrupulous attention to correctness in etiquette
attentive to detail
Derived Forms
punctiliously, adverb
punctiliousness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for punctilious

1630s, probably from Italian puntiglioso, from puntiglio "fine point," from Latin punctum "prick" (see point (n.)). Related: Punctiliously; punctiliousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for punctilious

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for punctilious

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for punctilious