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quibbling

[kwib-ling] /ˈkwɪb lɪŋ/
adjective
1.
characterized by or consisting of quibbles; carping; niggling:
quibbling debates.
noun
2.
the act of a person who quibbles.
3.
an instance of quibbling:
a relationship marked by frequent quibblings.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; quibble + -ing2, -ing1
Related forms
quibblingly, adverb
unquibbling, adjective

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
1605-15; 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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Examples for quibbling
  • Many professors say they can, although there is quibbling over the reasons why.
  • You're quibbling over non-essential trivia that really doesn't even have anything to do with the main article.
  • These changes-and the latest in the series will surely not be the last-reflect something more than quibbling over labels.
  • Prices rise and fall as visitors move from stall to stall, comparing items and quibbling over costs.
  • Your reader is quibbling over the definition of deregulation.
  • All the quibbling about whether people will buy a car from a bankrupt manufacturer seems to me to be largely beside the point.
  • Polite quibbling, no matter how trenchant, is different from battling.
  • The exercise is an absolutely necessary one, but the point-by-point approach can leave the impression of quibbling over details.
  • quibbling about the rights and responsibilities of scientists in a given field is not always unimportant or futile.
  • The commenters quibbling about single facts or who was the primary culprit are missing the forest for the trees.
British Dictionary definitions for quibbling

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 quibbling

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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