[ 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.

Origin of quibble

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


quib·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. 2020

Example sentences 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 forms of quibble

quibbler, 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