(idiomatic) The act of finding exceedingly small differences which are probably neither important nor noticeable to most people.
Other Word Forms
Origin of hair-splitting
From the gerund form of split hairs
Hair-splitting Sentence Examples
He loved to participate in hair-splitting theological discussions and by the measure of his own erudition, he proceeded to gage Sri Ramakrishna.
After this decision the controversies about the Person of Christ degenerated into mere hair-splitting; and the interference of the imperial authority from time to time in the dispute was not conducive to the settlement of the questions in the interests of truth alone.
His writings in tone and character are always alike " rich in thought and destitute of form, passionate and hair-splitting, eloquent and pithy in expression, energetic and condensed to the point of obscurity."
The recognized books of jurisprudence, some of which run to over twenty folio volumes, are vastly learned, and occasionally show sound sense, but excel mainly in useless hair-splitting and feats of scholastic gymnastics, for which the Arabian race has a natural gift.