[ kwib-uhl ]
See synonyms for: quibblequibblingquibbler on Thesaurus.com

  1. an instance of the use of ambiguous, prevaricating, or irrelevant language or arguments to evade a point at issue.

  2. the general use of such arguments.

  1. petty or carping criticism; a minor objection.

verb (used without object),quib·bled, quib·bling.
  1. to equivocate.

  2. to carp; cavil.

Origin of quibble

1605–15; perhaps derivative (cf. -le) of quib gibe, apparently akin to quip

Other words for quibble

Other words from quibble

  • quibbler, noun
  • outquibble, verb (used with object), out·quib·bled, out·quib·bling.

Words Nearby quibble

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use quibble in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for quibble


/ (ˈkwɪbəl) /

  1. to make trivial objections; prevaricate

  2. archaic to play on words; pun

  1. a trivial objection or equivocation, esp one used to avoid an issue

  2. archaic a pun

Origin of quibble

C17: probably from obsolete quib, perhaps from Latin quibus (from quī who, which), as used in legal documents, with reference to their obscure phraseology

Derived forms of quibble

  • quibbler, noun
  • quibbling, adjective, noun
  • quibblingly, adverb

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