- to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
- to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
- to practice chicanery of any sort.
Origin of pettifog
1605–15; back formation from pettifogger, equivalent to petty + fogger < Middle Low German voger or Middle Dutch voeger one who arranges things; akin to Old English gefōg a joining
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Words for pettifogniggle, bicker, wrangle, hassle, prevaricate, fence, avoid, flip-flop, spar, dispute, cavil, squabble, nitpick, carp, waffle, criticize, shift, pretend, evade, equivocate
Examples from the Web for pettifog
Historical Examples of pettifog
The popular understanding of the word criticize is to find fault, to pettifog.Plum Pudding
- (intr) to be a pettifogger
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