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Professor Snape, in the Harry Potter books, is considered to be pedantic because he is overly concerned about formal rules. Snape will often choose to be unreasonable because his pedantic nature leads him to place dull, precise regulations over people. His obvious discomfort when other, less pedantic teachers allow rules to be broken shows in his short and angry replies to these more lenient actions. As a pedant, he finds any such irregularities annoying because he thinks that all rules are to be followed to the letter.

Quiz: How might a pedantic person act?

  • They would love to learn new things and explore new places.
  • They would constantly correct others’ minor mistakes.
  • They like routine and do the same things in the same order every day.

Memory Hook

Pedro the Romantic "Should I ask her out before or after I see her? Should I try to kiss her before, during, or after the movie? Should I try to hold her hand for 2 minutes, or 5? I have to do it right!" Thus went the mind of pedantic Pedro the romantic 18.5 hours per day.


  • Socrates seems to be the philosophical napkin with which the ensuing cultural thinkers of history wipe their mouths of pedantic ooze. — Unknown
  • The result is a casual, refreshing, seemingly innocent view of baseball, a game that Angell assumes not only is loved but should be loved — and without being pedantic or naive he explains why this is a proper attitude. —Sports Illustrated
  • This may sound pedantic, but your use of 'no-knothing' is inscrutable by itself, and in the light of historical and etymological context, it sounds plainly ignorant. —Los Angeles Times
  • Greil Marcus called her 'a cold writer' whose style was 'an uneasy combination of academic and hip pedantic, effete, unfriendly.' —Los Angeles Times

Word Ingredients

ped child
-ant being in a state or condition
-ic like

A pedant used to be a word that meant “schoolmaster;” a teacher tends to be an enforcer of rules, which the student, or child, is expected to follow.

Word Theater

Seinfeld Kramer is being pedantic.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

pedant n someone who is too rule conscious or shows off her learning