What does hairsplitting mean?

Definitions for hairsplitting
ˈhɛərˌsplɪt ɪŋha·ir·split·ting

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word hairsplitting.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. hairsplitting, word-splittingadjective

    making too fine distinctions of little importance

    "they didn't take his hairsplitting seriously"

  2. finespun, hairsplittingadjective

    developed in excessively fine detail

    "finespun distinctions"


  1. hairsplittingnoun

    The act of considering or arguing about fine details, or worrying about minutiae.


  1. hairsplitting

    Trivial objections (also referred to as hair-splitting, nothing but objections, barrage of objections and banal objections) is an informal logical fallacy where irrelevant and sometimes frivolous objections are made to divert the attention away from the topic that is being discussed. This type of argument is called a "quibble" or "quillet". Trivial objections are a special case of red herring. The fallacy often appears when an argument is difficult to oppose. The person making a trivial objection may appear ready to accept the argument in question, but at the same time they will oppose it in many different ways.: 165  These objections can appear in the form of lists, hypotheticals, and even accusations. Such objections themselves may be valid, but they fail to confront the main argument under consideration. Instead, the objection opposes a small, irrelevant part of the main argument. The fallacy is committed because of this diversion; it is fallacious to oppose a point on the basis of minor and incidental aspects, rather than responding to the main claim. These objections are often used to not address the merit of an argument but rather to oppose them from a technicality.


  1. hairsplitting

    Hairsplitting refers to the act of making overly fine or petty distinctions in arguments or discussions, especially in a deliberate attempt to avoid the main or clear intention of a subject or point. It often involves focusing on minor details, nuances, or technicalities, rather than addressing or understanding the broader context or fundamental aspects.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Hairsplittingadjective

    making excessively nice or trivial distinctions in reasoning; subtle

  2. Hairsplittingnoun

    the act or practice of making trivial distinctions

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How to say hairsplitting in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of hairsplitting in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of hairsplitting in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Translations for hairsplitting

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"hairsplitting." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/hairsplitting>.

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    a diacritical mark (-) placed above a vowel to indicate a long sound
    A macron
    B viverrine
    C fervidness
    D profaneness

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