[ kwib-uhl ]
/ ˈkwɪb əl /


an instance of the use of ambiguous, prevaricating, or irrelevant language or arguments to evade a point at issue.
the general use of such arguments.
petty or carping criticism; a minor objection.

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

to equivocate.
to carp; cavil.

Nearby words

  1. qui nhon,
  2. qui nhong,
  3. qui transtulit sustinet,
  4. qui vive,
  5. quib,
  6. quibbling,
  7. quibblingly,
  8. quibdó,
  9. quiberon,
  10. quiche

Origin of quibble

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

Related formsquib·bler, nounout·quib·ble, verb (used with object), out·quib·bled, out·quib·bling.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quibbler

  • If there is one thing I find it difficult to have Christian patience with, it is a quibbler.

    Hildegarde's Harvest|Laura E. Richards
  • You are a quibbler, I vow; but I would not hear your worst enemy accuse you of being orthodox.

    A Nest of Linnets|Frank Frankfort Moore
  • He was adroit and quick, and was rather a quibbler than a great lawyer.

    The Memories of Fifty Years|William H. Sparks
  • With him the quibbler, the doctrinaire, the political economist, has no place.

    Sir Charles Napier|Sir William Francis Butler

British Dictionary definitions for quibbler


/ (ˈkwɪbəl) /

verb (intr)

to make trivial objections; prevaricate
archaic to play on words; pun


a trivial objection or equivocation, esp one used to avoid an issue
archaic a pun
Derived Formsquibbler, nounquibbling, adjective, nounquibblingly, adverb

Word Origin for 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

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

Word Origin and History for quibbler
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper