[ kwib-ling ]
/ ˈkwɪb lɪŋ /


characterized by or consisting of quibbles; carping; niggling: quibbling debates.


the act of a person who quibbles.
an instance of quibbling: a relationship marked by frequent quibblings.

Nearby words

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

Origin of quibbling

First recorded in 1650–60; quibble + -ing2, -ing1

Related formsquib·bling·ly, adverbun·quib·bling, adjective


[ 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

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 quibbling

British Dictionary definitions for quibbling


/ (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 quibbling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper