Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
If someone picks nits, they point out small, unimportant problems or faults in something. If I had to pick nits, I'd say the service could be a little quicker. That aside, it was pretty much perfect. Note: The verb nitpick has a similar meaning, and there is also a much more frequent noun nitpicking. The critics, of course, nitpick — that's what they do. The book was the subject of seemingly endless academic nitpicking. Note: Nits are the sticky eggs laid by the head louse, a small insect that lives and breeds in human hair.
keep nitkeep watch or act as a guard. Australian
Nit here is possibly an alteration of nix , a warning signal by schoolchildren that a teacher is approaching.
pick nitslook for and criticize small or insignificant faults or errors.
The image here is of the painstaking removal of tiny parasitic nits (lice or lice eggs) from someone's hair. The phrase originated in the mid 20th century, chiefly in North American usage.
n. a person who is hypercritical. Mary is such a nit-picker!
n. too much minor criticism; overly particular criticism; nagging. Enough nit-picking! What are the major problems?
To find fault in a petty way; nitpick.