Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

quibbling

[kwib-ling]
See more synonyms for quibbling on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. characterized by or consisting of quibbles; carping; niggling: quibbling debates.
Show More
noun
  1. the act of a person who quibbles.
  2. an instance of quibbling: a relationship marked by frequent quibblings.
Show More

Origin of quibbling

First recorded in 1650–60; quibble + -ing2, -ing1
Related formsquib·bling·ly, adverbun·quib·bling, adjective

quibble

[kwib-uhl]
noun
  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.
  3. petty or carping criticism; a minor objection.
Show More
verb (used without object), quib·bled, quib·bling.
  1. to equivocate.
  2. to carp; cavil.
Show More

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.

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

complainingnigglinggripingfault-findinghairsplittingnit-pickingcaptiouselusiveevasivesophisticcasuisticprevaricativesophistical

Examples from the Web for quibbling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for quibbling

quibble

verb (intr)
  1. to make trivial objections; prevaricate
  2. archaic to play on words; pun
Show More
noun
  1. a trivial objection or equivocation, esp one used to avoid an issue
  2. archaic a pun
Show More
Derived Formsquibbler, nounquibbling, adjective, nounquibblingly, adverb

Word Origin

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 quibbling

quibble

n.

1610s, "a pun, a play on words," probably a diminutive of obsolete quib "evasion of point at issue," based on an overuse of Latin quibus? in legal jargon, which supposedly gave it the association with trivial argument. Meaning "equivocation, evasion of the point" is attested from 1660s.

Show More

quibble

v.

"equivocate, evade the point, turn from the point in question or the plain truth," 1650s, from quibble (n.). Earlier "to pun" (1620s). Related: Quibbled; quibbling.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper