pilpul

[pil-poo l]
noun
  1. a method of disputation among rabbinical scholars regarding the interpretation of Talmudic rules and principles or Scripture that involves the development of careful and often excessively subtle distinctions.

Origin of pilpul

1890–95; < Aramaic, Hebrew pilpūl, akin to pilpēl to search, debate
Related formspil·pul·ist, nounpil·pul·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018