hairsplitting hairsplitting


  1. (n) making too fine distinctions of little importance
  2. (adj) developed in excessively fine detail



  1. All this hairsplitting is not without its dangers, though.
  2. In the intricate world of the law, a world of hairsplitting distinctions where the President is famously at home, it just may be so.
  3. But the armed correspondents maintain that such ethical hairsplitting is irrelevant to their workaday peril.


  • Scarcity: the state of being scarce or in short supply

    There was an interesting segment on NPR this past week entitled “How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior.” I’d happened upon it in a moment of quasi-irritation as the highlighted phrase designed to get our attention seemed to be hairsplitting a point. This always annoys me.
    on January 10, 2014     Source: The Michigan City News-Dispatch


  1. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, said he was disappointed: "Legal hairsplitting has prevailed over the interests of children."
    on Dec 21, 2006 By: Fabian Nunez Source: Washington Post

  2. "In my case, there is hairsplitting. I am a recognized political refugee. Even the Dutch government states that. In 1995, the highest court in the Netherlands reiterated its position that I am a political refugee under Article 1 A," Sison said.
    on Apr 1, 2009 By: Jose Maria Sison Source: ABS CBN News

Word of the Day
engender engender
/ɛn ˈdʒɛn dər /