Definition of punctilio in English:


See synonyms for punctilio

nounplural noun punctilios

  • A fine or petty point of conduct or procedure.

    ‘both counsel and judges follow the punctilios of court procedure and conduct’
    • ‘a stickler for punctilio’
    • ‘He was wounded fighting at barricades adjacent to Paris's northern customs barrier and described the moment with the clinical punctilio of a doctor's son.’
    • ‘Mercifully the SS men got off the bus before his punctilio caused him to unmask his disguise.’
    • ‘Parliament has made it abundantly clear in those sections of the Criminal Code having to do with the form of indictments and informations that the punctilio of an earlier age is no longer to bind us.’
    • ‘Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is then the standard of behavior.’
    • ‘Rarely was the code masculine defined with so broad a brush yet so severe a regard for honor's finest punctilio than in the U.S. during the 1950s.’
    • ‘Japanese people place emphasis on punctilio.’
    • ‘He retains a detailed knowledge of uniforms and parade punctilio, and his sartorial finery is legendary within the Waitati Militia.’
    • ‘In the context of Caliban's dynastic claim to the island, it is also Caliban's aristocratic punctilio, his insistence on the equality of his status with Prospero's.’
    detail, finer point, nicety, particular, subtlety, nuance, refinement, distinction
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/ˌpəNG(k)ˈtilēō/ /ˌpəŋ(k)ˈtɪlioʊ/


Late 16th century from Italian puntiglio(n-) and Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto ‘a point’.