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captious Line breaks: cap|tious
Pronunciation: /ˈkapʃəs/

Definition of captious in English:


Tending to find fault or raise petty objections: a captious teacher
More example sentences
  • These are not merely captious theoretical objections.
  • Through his pen, inanity became animate, and the captious craft of caricature was raised to character study.
  • To say that a man has adopted a vulgar prejudice, is calculated to give offence to no one but an illiterate booby, who does not know the meaning of the words, or a captious, inflated self-sufficient pedant.


Pronunciation: /ˈkapʃəsli/
Example sentences
  • We have no right to reject their instruction and captiously insist that nothing but positive command shall bind us.
  • Indeed now I come to think of it I believe I have twice reviewed other books of yours rather captiously.
  • And I captiously reflect how much better it must have sounded when it echoed to strains of music, instead of to the inanities of a young woman with a shrill voice and an uneducated intonation.
Pronunciation: /ˈkapʃəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • Finally, mention should be made of the author's logical arguments, and his clear and interesting style: satisfying the highest professional demands, this book contains no dry scholarly captiousness.
  • Then was seen the unprecedented sight of a party agent challenging the votes on his own side with a captiousness that his opponents would have hesitated to display.
  • By way of a protest against the captiousness to which their agents were subjected, the Polish authorities on August 2 prohibited the importation of this firm's products into Polish territory.


Late Middle English (also in the sense 'intended to deceive someone'): from Old French captieux or Latin captiosus, from captio(n-) 'seizing', (figuratively) 'deceiving' (see caption).

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