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cavil

play
verb cav·il \ˈka-vəl\

Simple Definition of cavil

  • : to complain about things that are not important

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cavil

caviled

or

cavilled

caviling

or

cavilling

play \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

caviler

or

caviller

play \ˈka-və-lər, ˈkav-lər\ noun

Examples of cavil in a sentence

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

  2. A customer caviled about the price.



Did You Know?

You must be joking! That's just one of the things you might be tempted to exclaim if you found yourself quarreling with a caviler - and you'd be right, etymologically speaking at least. Cavil derives from the Latin verb cavillari, meaning "to jest" or "to raise silly objections," which in turn derives from the Latin noun cavilla, meaning "raillery." In case you're wondering, "cavil" is not related to the adjective "cavalier" ("marked by or given to offhand and often disdainful dismissal of important matters"). "Cavalier," which is also a noun for a gentleman trained in arms and horsemanship, traces back via Middle French to the Late Latin caballarius, meaning "horseman."

Origin and Etymology of cavil

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


First Known Use: 1542



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