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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Tonya was a finicky eater when she was little.
▪ He is slightly finicky and a little superstitious.
▪ He thought Blanche was being too finicky.
▪ I get really finicky and picky.
▪ It is a monumental task, performed through thousands upon thousands of finicky observations and measurements.
▪ Then, perhaps, the finicky felines will deign to dip their tongues into the clean water you offer them.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Finicking \Fin"ick*ing\, Finicky \Fin"ick*y\, a. Finical; unduly particular; excessively demanding over minor details. [Colloq.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1825, "dainty, mincing," from finical "too particular" (1590s), which perhaps is from fine (adj.) + -ical as in cynical, ironical (OED says "ultimate derivation" from the adjective "seems probable"). But finikin (1660s) "dainty, precise in trifles" has been proposed as a source, even though the timing is off. It apparently comes from Dutch; compare Middle Dutch fijnkens (adv.) "precisely, exactly," from fijn, cognate with English fine (adj.).\n

\nThe -k- between the final -c- and a suffix beginning in -i, -y, or -e is an orthographic rule to mark the pronunciation of -c- as "k" (compare picnicking, trafficking, panicky, shellacked). Related: Finickiness.


a. 1 (context informal English) fastidious and fussy; difficult to please; exacting, especially about details. 2 (context informal English) Demanding, requiring above-normal care.


adj. exacting especially about details; "a finicky eater"; "fussy about clothes"; "very particular about how her food was prepared" [syn: finical, fussy, particular]

Usage examples of "finicky".

The effect was not that of a finicky estheticism, but of authentic beauty and dignity.

Already they were stirring, bluebottles and greenbottles and horseflies not too finicky to feast on human flesh as well.

The thought of finicky Lotte Dietrich, the dour old manhunter Cassius Potter, and laid-back Hector Motlaletsie carousing among the frozen fleshpots of Torngat made me smile.

Now it was a matter of matching speeds, a finicky operation in untroubled times.

They walk across the bright stage of English history with their finicky step, their preposterous cravats, their high collars, their dangling seals, and they vanish into those dark wings from which there is no return.

But then, there was no accounting for the tastes of men, who grew increasingly finicky as Wengel Star receded and the aurorae died.

Nora watched as, with finicky care, Bonarotti inflated an air mattress, applied nocturnal facial creams, and readied what appeared to be a hairnet and a facial mask.

Even among herbivores and omnivores, many species, like koalas, are too finicky in their plant preferences to recommend themselves as farm animals.

Water for drinking purposes had to be hauled five miles in a barrel, then the pollywogs and wiggletails had to be strained out, if a man was finicky about them, for consumption.

That, however it is disguised or concealed - microdot, secret writing, undeveloped film, anyone of the hundred risky, finicky ways - still as an object it must be the first and lightest thing that comes to hand, the least conspicuous when jettisoned !

Storm was not in the least surprised to see that Kelson's companion was Widders, who, in his finicky civ dress, looked even more out place in the comfortable but rather rough-hewn main chamber.