cavil

[ 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.

noun

a trivial and annoying objection.
the raising of such objections.

QUIZZES

TAKE THIS QUIZ TO SEE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL PUNCTUATION!

Commas mark divisions in sentences. Periods end declarative sentences. Apostrophes show possession. Easy, right? Well, punctuation can get pretty tricky—fast. Think you got what it takes to be a punctuation expert? Take our quiz to prove it!
Question 1 of 10
Which of the options below is the best punctuation for the sentence? It__s your turn to pick the movie __ but your sister gets to pick the board game we _ re going to play.

Origin of cavil

1540–50; < Latin cavillārī to jeer, scoff, quibble, verbal derivative of cavilla jesting, banter

OTHER WORDS FROM cavil

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for cavilling

British Dictionary definitions for cavilling

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