Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

quibble

play
verb, quib·ble \ˈkwi-bəl\

Simple Definition of quibble

  • : to argue or complain about small, unimportant things

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of quibble

quibbledquibbling play \-b(ə-)liŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to evade the point of an argument by caviling about words

  3. 2 a :  cavil, carp b :  bicker

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to subject to quibbles

quibbler play \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of quibble in a sentence

  1. <he spent the entire evening quibbling about the historical inaccuracies in the television series on World War II>

  2. <don't quibble over who gets to sit in front>



Did You Know?

Quibble can also be a noun meaning "an evasion of or shift from the point" or "a minor objection or criticism." Both forms of the word arrived in English in the mid-17th century. Presumably (though not certainly) quibble originated as a diminutive of a now obsolete word, quib, which also meant "quibble." In fact, although language experts may quibble over this, there is a possibility that quib can be traced back to the plural of the Latin word qui, meaning "who," which was often used in legal documents. If so, that makes quibble a very distant cousin of the English word who.

1656

First Known Use of quibble

1656

Rhymes with quibble


2

quibble

noun quib·ble

Simple Definition of quibble

  • : a small complaint or criticism usually about something unimportant

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of quibble

  1. 1 :  an evasion of or shift from the point

  2. 2 :  a minor objection or criticism

Examples of quibble in a sentence

  1. Our only quibble about the trip was that it rained a lot.



Origin of quibble

probably diminutive of obsolete quib quibble


First Known Use: 1664


QUIBBLE Defined for Kids

1

quibble

play
verb quib·ble \ˈkwi-bəl\

Definition of quibble for Students

quibbledquibbling

  1. :  to argue or complain about small and unimportant things




2

quibble

play
noun quib·ble

Definition of quibble for Students

  1. :  a small and usually unimportant complaint, criticism, or argument





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to dishevel or rumple

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex disapprove soothe reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ