noun, plural cas·u·ist·ries.

specious, deceptive, or oversubtle reasoning, especially in questions of morality; fallacious or dishonest application of general principles; sophistry.
the application of general ethical principles to particular cases of conscience or conduct.

Origin of casuistry

First recorded in 1715–25; casuist + -ry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for casuistry

Contemporary Examples of casuistry

  • The responses were telling in their casuistry, their amorality, their evasiveness.

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    The Hearing From Hell

    Tunku Varadarajan

    April 27, 2010

  • These questions will not be easily dodged; nor will the faithful be placated by casuistry or platitudes.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Leave the Pope Alone

    Tunku Varadarajan

    April 4, 2010

Historical Examples of casuistry

British Dictionary definitions for casuistry


noun plural -ries

philosophy the resolution of particular moral dilemmas, esp those arising from conflicting general moral rules, by careful distinction of the cases to which these rules apply
reasoning that is specious, misleading, or oversubtle
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