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captious

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adjective cap·tious \ˈkap-shəs\

Definition of captious

  1. 1 :  marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections <captious critics>

  2. 2 :  calculated to confuse, entrap, or entangle in argument <a captious question>

cap·tious·ly adverb
cap·tious·ness noun


Examples of captious

  1. <a captious and cranky eater who's never met a vegetable he didn't hate>



Origin of captious

Middle English capcious, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French captieux, from Latin captiosus, from captio deception, verbal quibble, from capere to take — more at heave


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of captious

critical, hypercritical, faultfinding, captious, carping, censorious mean inclined to look for and point out faults and defects. critical may also imply an effort to see a thing clearly and truly in order to judge it fairly <a critical essay>. hypercritical suggests a tendency to judge by unreasonably strict standards <hypercritical disparagement of other people's work>. faultfinding implies a querulous or exacting temperament <a faultfinding reviewer>. captious suggests a readiness to detect trivial faults or raise objections on trivial grounds <a captious critic>. carping implies an ill-natured or perverse picking of flaws <a carping editorial>. censorious implies a disposition to be severely critical and condemnatory <the censorious tone of the review>.


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