from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Extremely careful and precise.
  • adj. Extremely or excessively concerned with details.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Timid, fearful, overly cautious.
  • adj. Characterized by very precise, conscientious attention to details.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Timid; fearful.
  • adj. Taking great care to get every detail correct; working thoroughly and with precision.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Timid; over-careful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by precise accordance with details
  • adj. marked by extreme care in treatment of details


From Latin metīculōsus, timid, from metus, fear.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin meticulōsus ("full of fear, timid, fearful, terrible, frightful"), from metus ("fear") and -culōsus, extracted from perīculōsus ("perilous"). (Wiktionary)



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  • marked by extreme care in treatment of details

    The Japanese noodle maker was meticulous in making his noodles and would never let another person take over the task.

    October 12, 2016

  • Worrrrrd: To sionnach AND sarra; well played articulation.

    May 21, 2009

  • So boisterosity? fastidiosity? gregariosity? studiosity? nervosity? obnoxiosity? piteosity? stupendosity? tenuosity? (aptly) ridiculosity?

    December 2, 2008

  • Those dopey Times reviewers. EVeryone knows the word is meticulosity.

    Think about it:

    curious -- curiosity
    generous -- generosity
    pompous -- pomposity
    viscous -- viscosity
    heterozygous - heterozygosity
    monstrous -- monstrosity
    ingenious -- ingeniosity
    fabulous -- fabulosity
    fuliginous -- fuliginosity
    religious -- religiosity

    etc etc

    December 1, 2008

  • "Don’t take a perfectly good word and give it a new backside so it functions as something else. The New York Times does this all the time. Instead of saying, 'as a director, she is meticulous,' the reviewer will write, 'as a director, she is known for her meticulousness.' Until she is known for her obtuseness."
    - Pat Holt, 'The Ten Mistakes'.

    December 1, 2008

  • Originally meant fearful, timid. Evolution: the fearful and timid tend to be very careful in the details of their lives.

    March 29, 2008