Hairsplitting
Hairsplitting Hair"split`ting (-t[i^]ng), a. Making excessively fine or trivial distinctions in reasoning; overly subtle. -- n. The act or practice of making trivial distinctions. [1913 Webster]

The ancient hairsplitting technicalities of special pleading. --Charles Sumner. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hairsplitting — index particular (exacting) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • hairsplitting — [n] nitpicking bickering, carping, caviling, faultfinding, perfectionism, pettiness, quibbling, sophistry; concepts 671,706 …   New thesaurus

  • hairsplitting — [her′split΄iŋ] adj., n. making overnice or petty distinctions; quibbling hairsplitter n …   English World dictionary

  • hairsplitting — hairsplitter, n. /hair split ing/, n. 1. the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions. adj. 2. characterized by such distinctions: the hairsplitting arguments of a political debate. [1820 30; HAIR + SPLITTING] Syn. 2. quibbling, niggling,… …   Universalium

  • hairsplitting — hair•split•ting [[t]ˈhɛərˌsplɪt ɪŋ[/t]] n. 1) cvb the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions 2) cvb characterized by such distinctions; quibbling: hairsplitting arguments[/ex] • Etymology: 1820–30 hair′split ter, n …   From formal English to slang

  • hairsplitting — I noun making too fine distinctions of little importance they didn t take his hairsplitting seriously • Syn: ↑word splitting • Hypernyms: ↑differentiation, ↑distinction II adjective …   Useful english dictionary

  • hairsplitting — adjective or noun see hairsplitter …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hairsplitting — noun The act of considering or arguing about fine details, or worrying about minutiae …   Wiktionary

  • hairsplitting — Synonyms and related words: adverse criticism, animadversion, aspersion, bad notices, bad press, bickering, boggling, captious, captiousness, carping, cavil, caviling, censoriousness, chicane, chicanery, choplogic, contradistinction, critical,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • hairsplitting — I (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. unimportant, minute, subtle; see trivial , irrelevant , unimportant . II (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) n. nitpicking, pettiness, quibbling, caviling, fault finding …   English dictionary for students

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