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From nit +‎ pick, originally referring to literally removing invisibly tiny louse eggs by hand.


  • IPA(key): /ˈnɪt.pɪk/
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nitpick (third-person singular simple present nitpicks, present participle nitpicking, simple past and past participle nitpicked)

  1. (figurative) To correct insignificant mistakes or find fault in unimportant details.
    Synonyms: cavil, flyspeck
    Someone will invariably nitpick about any spelling error posted to the forums.
    • 2012 April 26, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Reviews: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits :”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      But Pirates! comes with all the usual Aardman strengths intact, particularly the sense that its characters and creators alike are too good-hearted and sweet to nitpick. The ambition is all in the craft rather than in the storytelling, but it’s hard to say no to the proficiency of that craft, or the mild good cheer behind it.
  2. (archaic, literal) To pick nits (lice eggs) from someone’s hair.
    I nitpicked his hair.

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