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Precisian

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Precisian An overprecise person; one rigidly or ceremoniously exact in the observance of rules; a formalist; -- formerly applied to the English Puritans. "The most dissolute cavaliers stood aghast at the dissoluteness of the emancipated precisian ."
    • Precisian One who limits, or restrains.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • precisian Precise; punctiliously or ostentatiously observant of rules or doctrines.
    • precisian Characteristic of precisians; puritanical.
    • n precisian One who adheres punctiliously to certain rules or observances; especially, one who is precise in matters of religion: often used depreciatingly with reference to the English Puritans of the seventeenth century.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Precisian an over-precise person: a formalist: a puritan
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. précis—L. præcisus, pa.p. of præcidĕrepræ, before, cædĕre, to cut.

Usage

In literature:

Some precisians had scruples about teaching the Latin grammar, because the names of Mars, Bacchus, and Apollo occurred in it.
"The History of England from the Accession of James II." by Thomas Babington Macaulay
But do not be too much of a precisian, or 'you will unnerve me of my strength (Iliad.).
"Cratylus" by Plato
The most dissolute cavaliers stood aghast at the dissoluteness of the emancipated precisian.
"The History of England from the Accession of James II." by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Moreover, the saddest of precisians could find no fault with the conduct of the shop.
"Cabbages and Kings" by O. Henry
The coldest precisian cannot go abroad without encountering inexplicable influences.
"Essays, Second Series" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
But she is no longer a precisian.
"The Emancipated" by George Gissing
It has long been thought, and it is still thought by many narrow precisians, indelicate and egotistical to do this.
"At Large" by Arthur Christopher Benson
A precisian, however, could take his tobacco with a difference.
"The Social History of Smoking" by G. L. Apperson
Puritan in religion, she was precisian in morals; but in both she was sincere.
"Tancred" by Benjamin Disraeli
In fact, he was something of a precisian in politics.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858" by Various
The form-master of the Upper Remove happened to be a precisian in English.
"The Hill" by Horace Annesley Vachell
The man, affrighted at this apparition, Upon recovery grew a great precisian.
"The Book of Humorous Verse" by Various
The devil turn'd precisian!
"The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1810" by Various
If he was a precisian in the choice of words, he certainly was not one in the matter of dress.
"Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate" by Charles Turley
Precisian on the meaning of Eliminate, 317.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 5, January-June, 1852" by Various
Let the precisians call my speech that of the Lothians.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 14 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
PURITANS and Precisians, party nicknames at the Reformation, iii.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Isaac Disraeli
He had precisian leanings, and so had the clerk o' the council.
"A Gentleman Player" by Robert Neilson Stephens
He was no precisian.
"The Shooting of Dan McGrew, A Novel" by Marvin Dana
His public career shows more of the doctrinaire and precisian than can be found in any other one of these.
"The Brothers' War" by John Calvin Reed
***

In poetry:

Precisian pundits bid us think
The gods have never been:
The daylight pales the forms that link
The Silence -with the Seen:
"Evensong" by Bernard O Dowd