scrupulous - meticulous - fastidious - punctilious

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New Member
Hi! I don't understand the difference in meaning between these words scrupulous - meticulous - fastidious - punctilious. I think they are synonyms but I found the following exercise:

A ____________ politician would not lie about her business interests.

a. scrupulous
b. meticulous
c. fastidious
d. punctilious

According to my book scrupulous is the correct answer but I don't get why I can't use all four words.

Thank you for your help!

  • morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Hi anna and welcome to the forum! :)

    A dictionary is always a good place to start :):

    scrupulous /ˈskruːpjʊləs/ adj
    • characterized by careful observation of what is morally right
    • very careful or precise
    meticulous /mɪˈtɪkjʊləs/ adj
    • very precise about details, even trivial ones; painstaking
    fastidious /fæˈstɪdɪəs/ adj
    • very critical; hard to please
    • excessively particular about details
    • exceedingly delicate; easily disgusted
    punctilious /pʌŋkˈtɪlɪəs/ adj
    • paying scrupulous attention to correctness in etiquette
    • attentive to detail
    Do you still think that you could use all the options?


    New Member
    Thank you very much for your answer morior invictus. I thought they were all synonyms meaning scholastic and I just couldn't see the difference. Thanks for your help!


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    >I thought they were all synonyms meaning scholastic

    Just so you know annagou,
    :) "scholastic" doesn't have the same meaning in English as it does in Modern Greek, and wouldn't be used in your sentence about the politician.
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