captious

[kap-shuhs]
adjective
1.
apt to notice and make much of trivial faults or defects; faultfinding; difficult to please.
2.
proceeding from a faultfinding or caviling disposition: He could never praise without adding a captious remark.
3.
apt or designed to ensnare or perplex, especially in argument: captious questions.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English capcious < Latin captiōsus sophistical, equivalent to capti(ō) a taking, hence, sophism (see caption) + -ōsus -ous

captiously, adverb
captiousness, noun
noncaptious, adjective
noncaptiously, adverb
noncaptiousness, noun
overcaptious, adjective
overcaptiously, adverb
overcaptiousness, noun
uncaptious, adjective
uncaptiously, adverb
uncaptiousness, noun


1. carping, nitpicking, niggling, picky, testy.
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World English Dictionary
captious (ˈkæpʃəs)
 
adj
apt to make trivial criticisms; fault-finding; carping
 
[C14 (meaning: catching in error): from Latin captiōsus, from captiō a seizing; see caption]
 
'captiously
 
adv
 
'captiousness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

captious
c.1408, from M.Fr. captieux, from L. captiosus, from captio "a deceiving, fallacious argument," lit. "a taking (in)," from capere "to take, catch" (see capable).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
In trying to be more serious, the play only becomes more captious.
But even if he succeeds, his credibility as the head of a captious party is likely to crumble.
Through his pen, inanity became animate, and the captious craft of caricature was raised to character study.
It seems to meet the approval of the taxpayers as it stands, and may readily be changed to suit the views of the captious ones.
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