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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj pedantic marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Pedantic Of or pertaining to a pedant; characteristic of, or resembling, a pedant; ostentatious of learning; as, a pedantic writer; a pedantic description; a pedantical affectation. "Figures pedantical ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • pedantic Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a pedant or pedantry; overrating the importance of mere learning; also, making an undue or inappropriate display of learning; of language, style, etc., exhibiting pedantry; absurdly learned: as, a pedantic air.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adjs Pedantic displaying knowledge for the sake of showing
    • ***


  • William Congreve
    “'Tis well enough for a servant to be bred at an University. But the education is a little too pedantic for a gentleman.”
  • Desiderius Erasmus
    “Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.”
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes
    “Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist; two to one, he is a pedant.”
  • Johann Kaspar Lavater
    “Have you ever seen a pedant with a warm heart?”
  • Confucius
    “When nature exceeds culture, we have the rustic. When culture exceeds nature then we the pedant.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—It. pedante—L. pædagogans, -antis, teaching—pædagogus, a pedagogue.


In literature:

But even they are too pedantic: with prejudiced views, they pursue one-sided aims.
"Piano and Song" by Friedrich Wieck
A pedant is formed by his memory; a man of culture is formed by the habit of meditation, and by the constant use of the imagination.
"Books and Culture" by Hamilton Wright Mabie
Not that this diction is in any respect affected or pedantic.
"Life of John Milton" by Richard Garnett
Mere jingo self-contentment is commonest among those who have some pedantic reason for their patriotism.
"Orthodoxy" by G. K. Chesterton
The pedant still does the cause of education incalculable injury.
"Craftsmanship in Teaching" by William Chandler Bagley
But if only the second test is passed, it may please a few pedants, but it is worthless, and cannot live.
"Interludes being Two Essays, a Story, and Some Verses" by Horace Smith
It is their instinct to flower in spring, of course, but they are not pedantic about it in the least.
"About Orchids" by Frederick Boyle
It must be remembered that in the first period of the salon there were no blue-stockings, no pedants: these were later developments.
"Women of Modern France" by Hugo P. Thieme
Certainly up to the time of Gericault painting in general held itself rather pedantically aloof from poetry.
"French Art" by W. C. Brownell
Among men who are men, as distinct from pedantic popinjays, you go for nothing.
"Berry And Co." by Dornford Yates
Avoid being artificial or pedantic.
"Talks on Talking" by Grenville Kleiser
Cromwell seems to have been but a pedantic hanger-on of literary circles.
"Alexander Pope" by Leslie Stephen
The fault of Propertius was too pedantic an imitation of the Greeks.
"A Smaller History of Rome" by William Smith and Eugene Lawrence
There was nothing of the scholarly prig or pedant about him.
"Essays on Scandinavian Literature" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
That his writing has quality and flavour none but a pure pedant would deny.
"Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 1, Essay 5, Emerson" by John Morley
It would indeed be an intolerably pedantic performance for a nation to sit still and wait for its scientists to report on their labors.
"A Preface to Politics" by Walter Lippmann
It is a pedantic literalism contrary to experience and to common sense.
"The Parables of Our Lord" by William Arnot
Some writers, usually pedants, imagine that they can supply, by the labours of industry, the deficiencies of nature.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by Isaac D'Israeli
What is a greater pedant than a mere man of the town?
"The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume III (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland I" by Francis W. Halsey
This devotion makes them very grave, and possibly very happy after a pedantic fashion.
"Obiter Dicta Second Series" by Augustine Birrell

In poetry:

Ay! Heaven had set one living man
Beyond the pedant's tether,--
His virtues, frailties, HE may scan,
Who weighs them all together!
"For The Burns Centennial Celebration" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Oh! ever keep thy native ease,
By no pedantic law confined;
For Laura's voice is form'd to please,
So Laura's words be not unkind.
"Ode to a Young Lady" by William Shenstone
How could he bear the pedant's frown,
That frights the sad bewilder'd boy,
Or hear such words as verb and noun,
But for my tales of love and joy?
"Hope And Memory" by Joanna Baillie
Pedant's presumptuous voice no more
Vexes the spot where Caesar trod,
And o'er the pavement's soundless floor
Come banished priest and exiled God.
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin
So die, thou child of stormy dawn,
Thou winter flower, forlorn of nurse;
Chilled early by the bigot's curse,
The pedant's frown, the worldling's yawn.
"On The Death of A Certain Journal" by Charles Kingsley
Pedant it cannot, villain cannot be!
Some genius, may-be, his own symbol woke;
But puritan, nor rogue in virtue's cloke,
Nor kitchen-maid has done it certainly!
"Who Lights The Fire?" by George MacDonald

In news:

" In the course of an afternoon's tour of the city, Lorca had been pedantic, vain, and egotistical, giving his companion the impression that "Spanish poetry began and ended with him.
A good scholar is prized for multilingual fluency, doggedness, a pedant's delight in small corrections, and a refusal to draw a conclusion unless it is based upon evidence sifted according to a rigorous precedent.
Variety vs varietal, Pedants vs poseurs.
The repeating sequences at the heart of Bach 's musical constructions can seem like the work of a master builder or a pedant.
Given his pedantic speaking style, his downward gaze and his utter lack of enthusiasm, he might as well have tapped the mic and asked the signature bombing question: "Is this on".
Pedantic pundit and fingernails on a blackboard screaming scourge of anyone politically left of King George the Third.
Try out -of-touch pedants.
Yesterday, March 4, marked the first "National Grammar Day," created by the nit-picking pedants of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar and sponsored by Microsoft's Encarta.

In science:

To spell this out pedantically, let I ′ = µ(S )I = {µ(S )n : n ∈ I }, let µ′ = µ/µ(S ) be the normalized version of the measure µ, and let V ′ be the generalized vertex space (S, µ′, (ym )m∈I ′ ) defined by ym = xm/µ(S ), so the sequences (xn ) and (ym ) are identical except for our rescaling of the index set.
The phase transition in inhomogeneous random graphs
Now ζ (t) := ΩΛ /Ωm is a unique function of t — or, if one wishes to be pedantic, of t/τΛ .
A Reply to a Comment on "Dark matter: A phenomenological existence proof"
Hence, P(G(C )) ≥ 2P(B (C )), and there is some event G′ (C ) ⊂ G(C ) \ B (C ) with probability P(B (C )). [To be pedantic, we must modify our probability space at this point.
Percolation on random Johnson-Mehl tessellations and related models
Of course this is a rather pedantic definition as this clearly does not represent an ob ject of common mathematical interest.
A canonical form for some piecewise defined functions
KD∗ is the class of M ∈ K which are the union of a family of countable submodels, which is directed by ≤D∗ . 3) KD∗ = (KD∗ ≤D∗ ), or pedantically (KD∗, ≤D∗ ↾ KD∗ ).
Abstract elementary classes near aleph_1
We are being pedantic here for a subtle reason that will become clear later.
String Vertex Operators and Cosmic Strings
We henceforth consider the case where E is a cartesian closed category (cf. e.g. 4.6); so, for any pair of objects X, Y in E, we have the exponential object Y X, and an “evaluation ” map ev : Y X × X → Y (or more pedantically: evX, Y ).
Commutative monads as a theory of distributions
If we take the somewhat pedantic position that the empty threemanifold
Three-Dimensional 2-Framed TQFTs and Surgery
To be pedantic, this requires a non-zero quadrupole moment, but this is generically excited by an arbitrary perturbation.
Gravitational Waves From the End of Inflation: Computational Strategies
Also, we follow convention by speaking, regarding a vector v, of the (pure) “state” v instead of the more pedantic “ray determined by v”.
What do quantum "weak" measurements actually measure?
To be pedantic, we know that F2 (x, Q2 ) from NMC and HERA show a marked rise; more information on unpolarised structure, in particular on R(x, Q2 ) ≡ σL /σT and on the normalisation of NMC and HERA data sets may be needed before we can be entirely certain that there are no subtle errors creeping in here.
Nucleon Spin: Summary
Following this is a pedantic discussion on CP violation in B decays, which leads into a discussion of future experiments.
Prospects for B-Physics in the Next Decade
If we wish to be pedantically ‘physical’ we should exclude ∂AX from AX .
The Physics and Mathematics of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Pro jected onto the microwave sky, this leads to the familiar peak structure seen in predicted anisotropy spectra, though if one wants to be pedantic the troughs are if anything more significant than the peaks.
Observational tests of inflation
There is one pedantic grammatical convention we adopt which we hope will spread: a number with mathematical meaning is always written as a numeral, occasionally in contradiction to accepted rules of grammar (e.g., “rank 1”, “characteristic 0”).
Moduli of twisted sheaves