Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

cavil

play
verb cav·il \ˈka-vəl\

Simple Definition of cavil

  • : to complain about things that are not important

Full Definition of cavil

cav·iled or cav·illedcav·il·ing or cav·il·lingplay \ˈka-və-liŋ, ˈkav-liŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to raise trivial and frivolous objection

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to raise trivial objections to

cavil noun
cav·il·er or cav·il·ler play \ˈka-və-lər, ˈkav-lər\ noun

Examples of cavil

  1. I don't intend to cavil or compromise.

  2. A customer caviled about the price.



Origin of cavil

Latin cavillari to jest, cavil, from cavilla raillery; akin to Latin calvi to deceive — more at calumny


First Known Use: 1542

Rhymes with cavil



Learn More about cavil


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cavil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez duvet spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ