Definition of the nitty-gritty noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the nitty-gritty

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˌnɪti ˈɡrɪti//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌnɪti ˈɡrɪti//
 
[singular](informal)
 
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the basic or most important details of an issue or a situation Time ran out before we could get down to the real nitty-gritty. More Like This Reduplicative words airy-fairy, argy-bargy, chit-chat, criss-cross, dilly-dally, harum-scarum, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hocus-pocus, hoity-toity, hotchpotch, hurly-burly, itty-bitty, mumbo jumbo, mishmash, nitty-gritty, ping-pong, pitter-patter, shilly-shally, teeny-weeny, tittle-tattle, touchy-feely, wishy-washySee worksheet. Word Origin 1960s: of unknown origin.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: the nitty-gritty