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quibble

[kwib-uh l] /ˈkwɪb əl/
noun
1.
an instance of the use of ambiguous, prevaricating, or irrelevant language or arguments to evade a point at issue.
2.
the general use of such arguments.
3.
petty or carping criticism; a minor objection.
verb (used without object), quibbled, quibbling.
4.
to equivocate.
5.
to carp; cavil.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; perhaps derivative (cf. -le) of quib gibe, apparently akin to quip
Related forms
quibbler, noun
outquibble, verb (used with object), outquibbled, outquibbling.
Synonyms
1. evasion, equivocation, sophism, shift, ambiguity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quibbler

quibble

/ˈkwɪbəl/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to make trivial objections; prevaricate
2.
(archaic) to play on words; pun
noun
3.
a trivial objection or equivocation, esp one used to avoid an issue
4.
(archaic) a pun
Derived Forms
quibbler, noun
quibbling, adjective, noun
quibblingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: probably from obsolete quib, perhaps from Latin quibus (from quī who, which), as used in legal documents, with reference to their obscure phraseology
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for quibbler

quibble

n.

1610s, "a pun, a play on words," probably a diminutive of obsolete quib "evasion of point at issue," based on an overuse of Latin quibus? in legal jargon, which supposedly gave it the association with trivial argument. Meaning "equivocation, evasion of the point" is attested from 1660s.

v.

"equivocate, evade the point, turn from the point in question or the plain truth," 1650s, from quibble (n.). Earlier "to pun" (1620s). Related: Quibbled; quibbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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