captious

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective captious contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of captious are carping, censorious, critical, faultfinding, and hypercritical. While all these words mean "inclined to look for and point out faults and defects," captious suggests a readiness to detect trivial faults or raise objections on trivial grounds.

a captious critic

When is carping a more appropriate choice than captious?

The meanings of carping and captious largely overlap; however, carping implies an ill-natured or perverse picking of flaws.

a carping editorial

When could censorious be used to replace captious?

The words censorious and captious are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, censorious implies a disposition to be severely critical and condemnatory.

the censorious tone of the review

In what contexts can critical take the place of captious?

In some situations, the words critical and captious are roughly equivalent. However, critical may also imply an effort to see a thing clearly and truly in order to judge it fairly.

a critical essay

When is it sensible to use faultfinding instead of captious?

While the synonyms faultfinding and captious are close in meaning, faultfinding implies a querulous or exacting temperament.

a faultfinding reviewer

When can hypercritical be used instead of captious?

Although the words hypercritical and captious have much in common, hypercritical suggests a tendency to judge by unreasonably strict standards.

hypercritical disparagement of other people's work

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Cite this Entry

“Captious.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/captious. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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