pettifog

verb
pet·​ti·​fog | \ ˈpetēˌfäg, -etē-, -fȯg\
pettifogged; pettifogged; pettifogging; pettifogs

Definition of pettifog

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in legal chicanery
2 : to quibble over insignificant details : cavil, bicker

transitive verb

: to plead (as a case) with legal chicanery

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History and Etymology for pettifog

back-formation from pettifogger

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