carp·​ing ˈkär-piŋ How to pronounce carping (audio)
: marked by or inclined to querulous and often perverse criticism
carpingly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for carping

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

Examples of carping in a Sentence

a peevish and carping old woman who is not a favorite at the nursing home
Recent Examples on the Web But the novel as a whole suggests that Clinton is all too well acquainted with resentment against carping critics and burdensome bureaucracies. Adam Kirsch, The Atlantic, 16 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carping.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1567, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carping was in 1567

Dictionary Entries Near carping

Cite this Entry

“Carping.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

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