cavils


cavils

verb (used without object), cav·iled, cav·il·ing or (especially British) cav·illed, cav·il·ling.

  1. to raise irritating and trivial objections; find fault with unnecessarily (usually followed by at or about): He finds something to cavil at in everything I say.

verb (used with object), cav·iled, cav·il·ing or (especially British) cav·illed, cav·il·ling.

  1. to oppose by inconsequential, frivolous, or sham objections: to cavil each item of a proposed agenda.

noun

  1. a trivial and annoying objection.
  2. the raising of such objections.

verb -ils, -illing or -illed or US -ils, -iling or -iled

  1. (intr; foll by at or about) to raise annoying petty objections; quibble; carp

noun

  1. a captious trifling objection
v.

1540s, from Middle French caviller “to mock, jest,” from Latin cavillari “to jeer, mock; satirize, argue scoffingly” (also source of Italian cavillare, Spanish cavilar), from cavilla “jest, jeering,” related to calumnia (see calumny).

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