- The definition of fastidious is a very careful attention to detail, or an uptight or hyper-critical person.
An example of fastidious is a guest looking for dust on surfaces in another's home.
- not easy to please; very critical or discriminating
- refined in a too dainty or oversensitive way, so as to be easily disgusted
Origin of fastidiousMiddle English ; from Classical Latin fastidiosus ; from fastidium, a loathing, disgust ; from fastus, disdain, contempt, pride (; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European base an unverified form bhars-, projection, point, bristle) + taedium: see tedium
- Showing or acting with careful attention to detail: a fastidious scholar; fastidious research.
- Difficult to please; exacting: “The club is also becoming far more fastidious about what constitutes a breed standard” (Janet Burroway).
- Excessively scrupulous or sensitive, as in taste, propriety, or neatness: “He was a fastidious man who hated to dirty his hands, in particular with food” (Michael Chabon). See Synonyms at meticulous.
- Microbiology Having complex nutritional requirements.
Origin of fastidiousMiddle English, squeamish, particular, haughty, from Old French fastidieux, from Latin fastīdiōsus, from fastīdium, squeamishness, haughtiness, probably from fastus, disdain.
(comparative more fastidious, superlative most fastidious)
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”). Confer French fastidieux.