- apt to notice and make much of trivial faults or defects; faultfinding; difficult to please.
- proceeding from a faultfinding or caviling disposition: He could never praise without adding a captious remark.
- apt or designed to ensnare or perplex, especially in argument: captious questions.
Origin of captious
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for captious
What a captious old woman will my sister make, if she lives to be one!Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
He is critical, but not captious; laudatory, but not fulsome.
I cannot afford to be irritable and captious, nor to waste all my time in attacks.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sewell, however, was no captious critic; he took what he got, and was thankful.Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I.
Charles James Lever
If one were captious, one might object to the thickness of his lips.
- apt to make trivial criticisms; fault-finding; carping
Word Origin and History for captious
c.1400, capcyus, from Middle French captieux (15c.) or directly from Latin captiosus "fallacious," from captionem (nominative captio) "a deceiving, fallacious argument," literally "a taking (in)," from captus, past participle of capere "to take, catch" (see capable). Related: Captiously; captiousness.