quibble

[kwib-uhl]
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:
1605–15; perhaps derivative (cf. -le) of quib gibe, apparently akin to quip

quibbler, noun
outquibble, verb (used with object), outquibbled, outquibbling.


1. evasion, equivocation, sophism, shift, ambiguity.
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World English Dictionary
quibble (ˈkwɪbəl)
 
vb
1.  to make trivial objections; prevaricate
2.  archaic to play on words; pun
 
n
3.  a trivial objection or equivocation, esp one used to avoid an issue
4.  archaic a pun
 
[C17: probably from obsolete quib, perhaps from Latin quibus (from quī who, which), as used in legal documents, with reference to their obscure phraseology]
 
'quibbler
 
n
 
'quibbling
 
adj, —n
 
'quibblingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

quibble
1611, "a pun, a play on words," probably a dim. of quib "evasion of point at issue" (c.1550), from L. quibus "by what (things)?," dative and ablative plural of quid "what," neut. of quis (see who). The word's overuse in legal jargon supposedly gave it the association with trivial
argument. Meaning "equivocation, evasion of the point" is attested from 1670. The verb in this sense is from 1656.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Whether the long-predicted double dip is looming or has already arrived is a
  quibble of semantics.
These kind backers rarely quibble over the network's content.
Historians quibble over details of the original library's demise.
Some might say the rear guard, but let's not quibble.
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