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pedant + -ry. From Middle French pedant, pedante, from Italian pedante (a teacher, schoolmaster, pedant), of uncertain origin, traced by some sources to Latin paedagogans, present participle of paedagogare ( = to teach, from Greek "paedagogein" = to instruct children ). Confer French pédanterie.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈpɛd.ən.tɹi/
  • (file)


pedantry (countable and uncountable, plural pedantries)

  1. An excessive attention to detail or rules.
    1. An instance of such behaviour.
      I don't want to listen to your pedantries anymore.
      • 1855, Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho! Chapter 7
        [] the southern court of the ballium had become a flower-garden, with quaint terraces, statues, knots of flowers, clipped yews and hollies, and all the pedantries of the topiarian art.
  2. An overly ambitious display of learning.

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