Dictionary.com

cavil

[ kav-uhl ]
/ ˈkæv əl /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: cavil / caviling / cavilling / caviler on Thesaurus.com

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.
noun
a trivial and annoying objection.
the raising of such objections.
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON "IS" VS. "ARE"
"Is" it time for a new quiz? "Are" you ready? Then prove your excellent skills on using "is" vs. "are."
Question 1 of 7
IS and ARE are both forms of which verb?

Origin of cavil

First recorded in 1540–50; from Latin cavillārī “to jeer, scoff, quibble,” derivative of cavilla “jesting, banter”

OTHER WORDS FROM cavil

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use cavil in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cavil

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
noun
a captious trifling objection

Derived forms of cavil

caviller, 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
FEEDBACK