I searched on Google - but mainly find "difficult" / "demanding". I am just wondering if there is any more appropriate word?


6 Answers 6


According to Thesaurus here is the list of words:

Main Entry: hard-to-please
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: extremely particular
Synonyms: choosy, critical, demanding, detailed, finicky, fussy, meticulous, nit-picking, particular, picky, scrutinizing Antonyms: undemanding


Persnickety, “Fastidious or fussy”; “Obsessive about mundane details, demanding for precision” is good in this context, and also fastidious, “Excessively particular, demanding, or fussy about details”; “Difficult to please; quick to find fault”.


The term scrupulous is often used to indicate a demanding nature, often with regard to ones own behaviour. Webster's Collegiate defines it as

extremely careful to do the precisely right, proper, or correct thing in every last detail

Another option is punctilious, also often used to describe the conduct of the decribed person. Collins defines it as

1.paying scrupulous attention to correctness in etiquette

2.attentive to detail


The thesaurus yields a few alternatives, but I think the most suitable would is:


Definition: Grouchy, hard to please

  • It just feels like its a bit negative like quarrelsome ( complaining)
    – TigerTiger
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 9:31
  • Isn't that what you want?
    – Urbycoz
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 9:41
  • mmm - just something neutral
    – TigerTiger
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 9:50

For a neutral option, you could use "selective", or "discriminating", so long as your context makes it clear that the discrimination exercised is not racist, sexist, etc.


I often hear high-maintenance bandied about for this sort of person:

(figuratively, pejorative, of a person) requiring a lot of attention or reassurance; emotionally needy

It suggests someone who requires a lot of work i.e. is difficult to please.

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