- 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.
Origin of quibbling
- 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.
- to equivocate.
- to carp; cavil.
Origin of quibble
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for quibbling
Quibbling over dates aside, 19th century Americans did insistently observe a day of remembrance.The Real Memorial Day: Oliver Wendell Holmes's Salute To A Momentous American Anniversary
May 26, 2014
Washington probably had no sympathy with the quibbling of Congress.Washington and his Comrades in Arms
I need only repeat, this is no time for personal gain and quibbling.Medal of Honor
Dallas McCord Reynolds
This is not a quibbling of words, but a radical distinction.The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance
Paul Elmer More
It is easy to say that this is quibbling, but in reality is it so?
Mr. Christian's wit, in general, seemed to him a poor kind of quibbling.Felix Holt, The Radical
- 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
Word Origin and History for quibbling
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.
"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.