split hairs

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split hairs

To make or focus on trivial or petty details, differences, or distinctions. I'm sorry to split hairs, but your portion of the bill is $25.97, not $25.79. I actually think it was your responsibility, not Dave's, but let's not split hairs about it.
See also: hair, split

split hairs

Fig. to quibble; to try to make petty distinctions. They don't have any serious differences. They are just splitting hairs. Don't waste time splitting hairs. Accept it the way it is.
See also: hair, split

split hairs

Make trivial distinctions, quibble, as in Let's not split hairs about whose turn it is; I'll close up today and you do it tomorrow. This metaphoric idiom transfers dividing so fine an object as a single hair to other petty divisions. [Second half of 1600s]
See also: hair, split

split hairs

If someone splits hairs, they argue about very small details or find very small differences between things which are really very similar. More than half the cases they complained about were not, in fact, on Garzon's list, but let's not split hairs. Don't split hairs. You know what I'm getting at. Note: You can also accuse someone of hair-splitting. We were becoming impatient with hair-splitting over legal technicalities.
See also: hair, split

split hairs

make small and overfine distinctions.
This expression was first recorded in the late 17th century. Split straws, dating from the 19th century, is a less common version.
See also: hair, split

split ˈhairs

(disapproving) pay too much attention in an argument to differences that are very small and not important: You might think I’m just splitting hairs, but what exactly do you mean by ‘a significant improvement’? ▶ ˈhair-splitting noun
See also: hair, split

split hairs

To see or make trivial distinctions; quibble.
See also: hair, split
References in periodicals archive ?
Not just splitting hairs, Carp reminds readers that confidentiality protects the privacy of individuals, whereas "secrecy" deprives a person of (presumably) valuable information about her or himself.
Far from splitting hairs about a 10- or 12-minute sermon, parishioners there spend more than three hours every Sunday in an all-involving liturgy.
It is often asked if one isn't splitting hairs to designate some methods "natural" and some "artificial.
The company works with the troops and the troops work with the mine, and their interests are aligned, so unless you're really splitting hairs, there's no effective difference.
It sounds subtle--the change from teacher evaluation to teacher assessment--but for teachers in Osceola County, Florida, insisting on the switch was more than just splitting hairs over contract language.
I'm a bit older than Seb and saw Alberto Juantorena do the same thing in Montreal in 1976, so I'll put it in the top-10, but we're splitting hairs here.
Unless we see things from this perspective, we will unlikely move forward and instead spend our time splitting hairs.
Sometimes the players think I am splitting hairs but, believe me, it's splitting the hairs that makes you winners.
It may have seemed like splitting hairs at that point, but the governor stood fast and vetoed, nixing the extra $120 for all the retirees.
Further inspection of Eva's haircut reveals it probably bears more of a likeness to Katie's than Victoria's, given that it has a slight fringe and more of a swing than her more severe straight style, but maybe I am just splitting hairs (sorry
While it is not possible to be certain he will stay 1m4f (his dam is related to the smart sprinter Title Roll), it is splitting hairs to rule out a colt y a King George winner out of a mare by Sadler's Wells on the basis that he won't stay.
It's splitting hairs, there was a doctor on site and my aunt did not see him.
It's really splitting hairs with these teams, but I'll take the Patriots over the Colts because it's supposed to happen, and the Chargers over the Steelers because it isn't.
It might seem to be splitting hairs but the issue was contamination.