1

quibble

play
verb quib·ble \ˈkwi-bəl\

Definition of quibble

quibbled

;

quibbling

play \ˈkwi-b(ə-)liŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to evade the point of an argument by caviling about words

  3. 2a :  cavil, carpb :  bicker

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to subject to quibbles

quibbler

play \ˈkwi-b(ə-)lər\ noun

quibble was our Word of the Day on 12/05/2013. Hear the podcast!

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

Recent Examples of quibble from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quibble'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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.

First Known Use of quibble

1665


2

quibble

noun quib·ble

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.

Recent Examples of quibble from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quibble'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of quibble

probably diminutive of obsolete quib quibble


QUIBBLE Defined for English Language Learners

quibble

play
verb

Definition of quibble for English Language Learners

  • : to argue or complain about small, unimportant things

quibble

noun

Definition of quibble for English Language Learners

  • : a small complaint or criticism usually about something unimportant


QUIBBLE Defined for Kids

1

quibble

play
verb quib·ble \ˈkwi-bəl\

Definition of quibble for Students

quibbled

;

quibbling

  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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

set in a bent position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!