1 : to evade the point of an argument by caviling about words
2 a : to find fault by raising trivial or frivolous objection
b : to engage in a petty quarrel : bicker
3 : to subject to minor objections or criticisms
Did You Know?
In addition to functioning as a verb, quibble also exists as a noun meaning "an evasion of or shift from the point" and "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.
"A few researchers and doctors have also quibbled with some of the details in the dietary advice…." — Eliza Barclay, Vox.com, 24 Jan. 2019
"I am not quibbling with the quality of these extravagant boats, but it seems some anglers believe a high-ticket item will make them better fishermen." — Mike Jackson, The Daily Herald (Chicago), 5 May 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create an obscure synonym of the verb quibble: GPEOTFIT.VIEW THE ANSWER
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