[ kav-uhl ]
/ ˈkæv əl /
verb (used without object), cav·iled, cav·il·ing or (especially British) cav·illed, cav·il·ling.
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.
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.
THIS PSAT VOCABULARY QUIZ IS PERFECT PRACTICE FOR THE REAL TEST
In our third teacher-created PSAT practice test there are new and unique vocabulary terms you may have never heard of! Can you guess what they mean?
Question 1 of 10
Origin of cavil
1540–50; <Latin cavillārī to jeer, scoff, quibble, verbal derivative of cavilla jesting, banter
OTHER WORDS FROM cavil
cav·il·er; especially British, cav·il·ler, nouncav·il·ing·ly; especially British, cav·il·ling·ly, adverboutcavil, verb (used with object), out·cav·iled, out·cav·il·ing or (especially British) out·cav·illed, out·cav·il·ling.un·cav·il·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for cavil
/ (ˈkævɪl) /
verb -ils, -illing or -illed or US -ils, -iling or -iled
(intr; foll by at or about) to raise annoying petty objections; quibble; carp
a captious trifling objection
Derived forms of cavilcaviller, nouncavilling, adjective
Word Origin for cavil
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