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The making of unreasonably fine distinctions.

hair′split′ter n.
hair′split′ting adj.


the making of petty distinctions
occupied with or based on petty distinctions
ˈhairˌsplitter n


(ˈhɛərˌsplɪt ɪŋ)

1. the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions.
2. characterized by such distinctions; quibbling: hairsplitting arguments.
hair′split`ter, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hairsplitting - making too fine distinctions of little importance; "they didn't take his hairsplitting seriously"
differentiation, distinction - a discrimination between things as different and distinct; "it is necessary to make a distinction between love and infatuation"
Adj.1.hairsplitting - developed in excessively fine detail; "finespun distinctions"
precise - sharply exact or accurate or delimited; "a precise mind"; "specified a precise amount"; "arrived at the precise moment"


1. adjpedante, cavilloso/a
2. npedanteria
References in classic literature ?
If such men will make a firm and solemn pause, and meditate dispassionately on the importance of this interesting idea; if they will contemplate it in all its attitudes, and trace it to all its consequences, they will not hesitate to part with trivial objections to a Constitution, the rejection of which would in all probability put a final period to the Union.
Just yesterday, the issue was brought up atthe [UN] Security Council in response to Western attempts to raise trivial objections or find faults in the process.
The problem is not the pledge or what it stands for, but trivial objections from people who seem to need to see problems in the simplest things.