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I am looking for a word that describes a person's work as being detail oriented.

For example: "His peers had confidence in his meticulous manner."

Meticulous just seems too strong. The latin origin of the word is:

mid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘fearful or timid’): from Latin meticulosus, from metus ‘fear.’ The word came to mean ‘overcareful about detail,’ hence the current sense (early 19th cent).

And when I use it in the sentence it doesn't seem right. Does anyone have suggestions for a better way to phrase this? Thanks.

closed as off-topic by Canis Lupus, MrHen, FumbleFingers, choster, Hellion Jan 16 '14 at 19:08

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    I would venture to say that nobody uses it with the "overcareful due to fear or timidity" definition nowadays. Everyone I know who uses it, applies it in a positive way meaning he does a masterful job because of his attention to detail – Jim Jan 15 '14 at 4:21
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    In casual conversation I'd be more likely to say something like: "His coworkers trust him because he's so meticulous." – Jim Jan 15 '14 at 4:23
  • Have you tied Googling "use meticulous in a sentence" ? sentence.yourdictionary.com/meticulous makes it look like general reference. – Canis Lupus Jan 15 '14 at 7:22
  • Oh I know it is used often. I was just trying to see if there is a better word for it. It just sounded awkward to me yesterday, just one of those things. It seems like a great choice right now. – Jaiesh_bhai Jan 15 '14 at 13:45
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I think you may be rejecting a very good word over a misperception. Meticulous does not carry the connotation of fear or neuroses, such as, perhaps, fastidious. In present day English, meticulous usually carries a more positive connotation and is synonymous with precise and punctilious.

While the etymology of words is fascinating, judging one by its origin is often a mistake. Hysterical is a useful word, despite its origin from illnesses of the uterus.

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If etymology and history were all that mattered, then you might favour nice, as it once had exactly such a meaning.

Precise or particular in matters of reputation or conduct; scrupulous, punctilious.

But then, earlier still it meant "wanton" or "foolish"!

The moral is, etymology doesn't tell us everything. Meticulous is fine in the use you want.

Scrupulous is too, but is often taken to refer to morality.

Punctilious is perhaps the most precise match, but is less well known.

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Perhaps precise

marked by exactness and accuracy of expression or detail

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Another possibility is 'conscientious'.

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