[ pet-ee-fog, -fawg ]
/ ˈpɛt iˌfɒg, -ˌfɔg /
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See synonyms for: pettifog / pettifogging / pettifogger on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), pet·ti·fogged, pet·ti·fog·ging.

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.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of pettifog

First recorded in 1605–15; back formation from pettifogger “ambulance chaser,” equivalent to petty “inferior, secondary” + fogger “shyster,” from Middle Low German voger or Middle Dutch voeger “an arranger, a fixer”; akin to Old English gefōg “a joining, a joint”; see also petty
pet·ti·fog·ger, nounpet·ti·fog·ger·y, noun
ambulance chaser, mouthpiece, pettifogger , shyster
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • The popular understanding of the word criticize is to find fault, to pettifog.

    Plum Pudding|Christopher Morley

British Dictionary definitions for pettifog

/ (ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡ) /

verb -fogs, -fogging or -fogged

(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
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