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From Latin fastidiosus (passive: that feels disgust, disdainful, scornful, fastidious; active: that causes disgust, disgusting, loathsome), from fastidium (a loathing, aversion, disgust, niceness of taste, daintiness, etc.), perhaps for *fastutidium, from fastus (disdain, haughtiness, arrogance, disgust) + taedium (disgust). Cf. French fastidieux.


  • IPA(key): /fæˈstɪdi.əs/, /fəˈstɪdi.əs/
  • (file)


fastidious (comparative more fastidious, superlative most fastidious)

  1. Excessively particular, demanding, or fussy about details, especially about tidiness and cleanliness.
    • 2008, Robert Fisher, Memory Road[1]:
      His fastidious nature had been evident in his careful snipping of a customer's hair and now he guided his pencil with the same adroitness.
    • 2004, Maria Osborne Perr, Ravished Wings[2]:
      As she cleaned the room daily, she knew it was against his fastidious nature to bring or have food in his room.
    • 2003, Lynsay Sands, Single White Vampire:
      He had at first tried to clean up as they ate, his fastidious nature kicking in, but Chris had told him to just stop, he was blocking the TV.
  2. Overly concerned about tidiness and cleanliness.
  3. Difficult to please; quick to find fault.
    • 1897, Kate Chopin, The Lilies:
      "It's burn[t], M'sieur," said Marie Louise, politely, but decidedly, to the utter confusion of Mr. Billy, who was as mortified as could be at the failure of his dinner to please his fastidious little visitor.
    • 1881, Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady:
      You're too fastidious, and too indolent, and too rich.


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