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Definition of Pedante

A Pedant (Pedante in Spanish) is a person who is conceited and who makes inopportune and vain boasts of erudition. It is an adjective that not only focuses on the conceited, but also on the pretentious and conceited.

They love to boast of their supposed superiority in certain areas of their lives and in front of others.


  1. Conceited
  2. Vain-glorious
  3. Pretentious
  4. Boastful
  5. Believes he/she is superior to others.


This word comes from the Italian pedante, which was formerly used to denote tutors who taught children at home. That is why it is believed that the word pedante is a deformation of the Latin paedagogus (pedagogue) and this from the Greek paidagogos.

There is a certain relationship between the word pedant and its etymological meaning of teachers who walked from house to house to teach children, with the word pedís (foot) from which come words like pedal, pedestre, pedestal.

On the other hand, its meaning may be due to medieval Italian and in its original sense refers to a pedestrian, someone who goes on foot and a foot soldier.

By the 14th century, it was given the meaning of private teacher, tutor and caretaker of the children of a wealthy family who had to accompany them everywhere on foot.

However, in the 16th century, in the French language, it is attributed the meaning of someone who makes an annoying ostentation of his knowledge.


The word pedant was used by Shakespeare for the first time in Love’s Labors Lost (1588) where it simply meant “professor”, but already in 1596, Thomas Nashe used it, in a negative sense, in Have with You to Saffron-Walden.