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nitpick

When you nitpick, you focus on small, specific mistakes. An English teacher might nitpick by pointing out an unnecessary comma in your otherwise perfect 20-page paper.

People who nitpick are bothered by minor problems — or else they're just looking for something to criticize. A movie critic who dislikes a director might nitpick about her latest film's slight inaccuracies. Your mom might nitpick about your outfit, saying, "It's a shame your socks don't quite match." Nitpick was first used in 1962, and nitpicker came first, from the idea that nitpickers search for faults the way they might pick nits, or lice eggs, from someone's hair.

Definitions of nitpick
  1. verb
    be overly critical; criticize minor details
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    type of:
    criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
    find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws
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