Definition of quibble in English:

quibble

Syllabification: quib·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈkwibəl
 
/

noun

  • 2 archaic A play on words; a pun.

verb

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  • Argue or raise objections about a trivial matter: they are always quibbling about the amount they are prepared to pay
    More example sentences
    • Look, we're not quibbling or splitting hairs about this agreement.
    • He will have made enemies of all his former managers, but few quibbled with Thompson's logic when he parted company with each of them.
    • He said: ‘We are not quibbling at the actual amount of increase or at the basic philosophy of a national minimum wage.’
    Synonyms
    object to, find fault with, complain about, cavil at; split hairs about; criticize, query, fault, pick holes in
    informal nitpick
    archaic pettifog

Derivatives

quibbler

noun
More example sentences
  • But I think it has far greater potential to damage the opposition, who, by engaging in such arguments, make themselves look like pettifogging quibblers out to injure the president by any means necessary.
  • A gaggle of quibblers complain that chickens do fly, albeit short distances.
  • How wider access might be achieved is another matter, and one that will be closely examined by the quibblers after Wade takes up his appointment in October.

quibblingly

adverb
More example sentences
  • More quibblingly, I wish that they might have begun the passages from Calvin on any page other than 666; given their appreciation of the Reform tradition, however, this is almost certainly the fault of some Arminian typesetter.
  • It might be argued, but rather quibblingly, that such a response is itself an expression of inherent genotypic possibilities.
  • Those who are familiar with both the details and the thrust of his thought have a responsibility to explain it to interested newcomers as best we can, even as we also pursue high level or quibblingly technical debates among ourselves.

Origin

early 17th century (in the sense 'play on words, pun'): diminutive of obsolete quib 'a petty objection', probably from Latin quibus, dative and ablative plural of qui, quae, quod 'who, what, which', frequently used in legal documents and so associated with subtle distinctions or verbal niceties.

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