verb (pettifogs, pettifogging, pettifogged)[no object] archaic
1.1Practise legal deception or trickery: he will rather pettifog and turn common barrator than be out of employment
More example sentences
- He probably thought the auditors were pettifogging about practices ‘everyone does’ and that different auditors wouldn't be so picky.
- They have obfuscated, delayed, lied, backtracked, pettifogged, and cancelled all sorts of commitments under the informal and formal rubrics of the Oslo process.
early 17th century: back-formation from pettifogger.
- More example sentences
- The theological pettifoggery of their literalistic religion has to be read to be believed.
- Seeing through Julia's pettifoggery, the judge overruled her frivolous objection.
- Pettifoggery has come to mean legal chicanery, and last week a Senate subcommittee consultant used the word to describe a weakness of U.S. negotiators in dealing with Communist powers.
Definition of pettifog in:
- The US English dictionary