Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Finicky

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is finicky. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Finicky means “very particular in tastes or standards.”

// The young boy was a finicky eater, and his parents found it challenging to come up with ideas for healthy meals that he would enjoy.

FINICKY in Context

“The cucumber is a pretty finicky vegetable, having strong opinions about soil, sun, and water.” — Vanessa Nirode, SFGate.com, 5 Apr. 2022

Did You Know?

If you’re a reader of a certain age (say, a Boomer, Gen Xer, or even a Xennial), you may remember cheeky television commercials featuring Morris, a finicky housecat who only eats a certain brand of cat food. (Morris is still featured on product labels.) Morris’s tastes in cuisine are not only very particular, but very fine as well, and that’s appropriate given the origin of finicky. The word came about as an alteration of finicking, itself an alteration of another adjective, finical. It’s believed that finical derives from the adjective fine.

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