Try Our Apps


What does the eggplant emoji really mean?


[kav-uh l] /ˈkæv əl/
verb (used without object), caviled, caviling or (especially British) cavilled, cavilling.
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), caviled, caviling or (especially British) cavilled, cavilling.
to oppose by inconsequential, frivolous, or sham objections:
to cavil each item of a proposed agenda.
a trivial and annoying objection.
the raising of such objections.
Origin of cavil
1540-50; < Latin cavillārī to jeer, scoff, quibble, verbal derivative of cavilla jesting, banter
Related forms
caviler; especially British, caviller, noun
cavilingly; especially British, cavillingly, adverb
outcavil, verb (used with object), outcaviled, outcaviling or (especially British) outcavilled, outcavilling.
uncaviling, adjective
uncavilling, adjective
1. carp, complain, criticize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for caviler
Historical Examples
  • What a triumphant answer to the caviler who could say, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"

  • Let the real Christian come into the presence of the caviler, stand before his very eyes, and the caviler will not see him.

  • I say these things to teach us to be careful not to join the caviler in judging presumptuously the work and Word of God.

  • Mr. caviler, your voice is harsh and grating too when you get very angry, isn't it?

    A Maid of the Kentucky Hills Edwin Carlile Litsey
British Dictionary definitions for caviler


verb -ils, -illing, -illed (US) -ils, -iling, -iled
(intransitive; foll by at or about) to raise annoying petty objections; quibble; carp
a captious trifling objection
Derived Forms
caviller, noun
cavilling, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French caviller, from Latin cavillārī to jeer, from cavilla raillery
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for caviler



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for caviler

Word Value for caviler

Scrabble Words With Friends