quibble

verb
quib·​ble | \ ˈkwi-bəl How to pronounce quibble (audio) \
quibbled; quibbling\ ˈkwi-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce quibbling (audio) \

Definition of quibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to evade the point of an argument by caviling about words
2a : cavil, carp
b : bicker

transitive verb

: to subject to quibbles

quibble

noun

Definition of quibble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an evasion of or shift from the point
2 : a minor objection or criticism

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Other Words from quibble

Verb

quibbler \ ˈkwi-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce quibbler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for quibble

Synonyms: Verb

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Did You Know?

Verb

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.

Examples of quibble in a Sentence

Verb he spent the entire evening quibbling about the historical inaccuracies in the television series on World War II don't quibble over who gets to sit in front Noun Our only quibble about the trip was that it rained a lot.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This is the only sensible way to do it, but some people like to quibble. Popular Science, "Nature’s best toilet paper substitutes," 28 Mar. 2020 Historians have quibbled over minor inaccuracies, but better to get lost in the mood of this very different time. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Missing Bay Area sports? Watch one of these 10 greatest sports movies of all time," 14 Mar. 2020 This is the only sensible way to do it, but some people like to quibble. Popular Science, "Nature’s best toilet paper substitutes," 28 Mar. 2020 Barr and Durham both quibbled with Horowitz’s conclusion that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was properly predicated in the summer of 2016. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Barr says evidence from Durham investigation is ‘far more troubling’ than mistakes or sloppiness," 9 Apr. 2020 This is the only sensible way to do it, but some people like to quibble. Popular Science, "Nature’s best toilet paper substitutes," 28 Mar. 2020 This is the only sensible way to do it, but some people like to quibble. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "Six Best Toilet Paper Substitutes from Nature," 20 Mar. 2020 Both sides quibbled over the number of people who jumped Jones after the first shooting. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "Steven Jones to be sentenced for 2015 NAU shooting," 11 Feb. 2020 So really, why quibble too much about a silly time loop ploy? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina S3 is a mesmerizing melting pot of the macabre," 27 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Other quibbles stem from the fact that this is a platform in transition. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "OK Computer: The iPad Pro 2020 review," 26 Mar. 2020 Those amount to quibbles, however, about a film that sharply captures the win-at-all-costs corporate environment that enabled Ailes to operate with such impunity. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Bombshell' spotlights the women who ended Roger Ailes' reign," 9 Dec. 2019 Our only quibble is with the underhand motion needed to operate the interior door handle. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Audi S8 Issues an Executive Order for Speed," 23 Mar. 2020 But quibbles aside, this is an electrifyingly original retelling of a tale carved out of Australian myth. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'True History of the Kelly Gang': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019 Despite our quibbles, the XC60 hit 40,000 miles sooner than most long-termers, as our staff frequently requested it for long-haul road trips to faraway places such as Georgia, New York, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Long-Term 2019 Volvo XC60: New Engine, New Platform, New Factory, No Surprises," 13 Feb. 2020 The four siblings supported The Settler’s objectives, but to minimize any quibbles, the company listed all of their mother’s possessions on a spreadsheet and let the children rank them from 1 to 75. Beth Decarbo, WSJ, "Downsizing Your Home Is Hard. How to Decide What’s Worth Keeping.," 22 Jan. 2020 There will be no spoilers or quibbles over plot or casting. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, "Alabama needs Just Mercy," 17 Jan. 2020 Black metal posts and chains along the planting beds — intended mostly to keep out dogs — were replaced late in the design process by ropes and wooden posts, in part because of design quibbles from a handful of neighbors. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Washington Square Park is back — with design tweaks as timeless as North Beach itself," 2 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of quibble

Verb

1665, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quibble

Noun

probably diminutive of obsolete quib quibble

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Time Traveler for quibble

Time Traveler

The first known use of quibble was in 1650

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Statistics for quibble

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quibble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quibble. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for quibble

quibble

verb
How to pronounce quibble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of quibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to argue or complain about small, unimportant things

quibble

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quibble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small complaint or criticism usually about something unimportant

quibble

verb
quib·​ble | \ ˈkwi-bəl How to pronounce quibble (audio) \
quibbled; quibbling

Kids Definition of quibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to argue or complain about small and unimportant things

quibble

noun

Kids Definition of quibble (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on quibble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quibble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quibble

Spanish Central: Translation of quibble

Nglish: Translation of quibble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quibble for Arabic Speakers

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