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I'm looking for a word that describes people who have high standards for themselves and others and strive to achieve them, but don't expect absolute perfection. They are satisfied with realistic results. As in

Being a ________ [perfectionist], John spends a great deal of time ensuring the quality of work is above reproach.

I like "perfectionist", but it's too closely associated with words like "persnickety", "hypercritical", "nitpicky", "punctilious", "anal", "pedantic", etc.

I'm finding words like "meticulous", "rigorous", "conscientious", and "thorough", but none of these really fit quite right.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Drew, Mari-Lou A single-word-requests Jul 6 '17 at 18:06

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"methodical" or "exacting" or "discriminating" [person]?

I also like "conscientious" and "thorough", though you are concerned that these may not fit.


Try detailed or detail oriented:

marked by abundant detail or by thoroughness in treating small items or parts

  • I like "detail orientated" as an answer as it implies that all items are addressed however does not confer an excessive preoccupation with the items being improved to their maximum state. – Tom22 Jul 7 '17 at 3:26

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