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Line breaks: quib¦ble
Pronunciation: /ˈkwɪb(ə)l

Definition of quibble in English:


1A slight objection or criticism: the only quibble about this book is the price
More example sentences
  • However, this is a slight quibble in what is an otherwise fine book.
  • Other than the political quibbles, London critics were mostly rapturous about this modern-dress revival.
  • Sadly, one of the major parties has slight quibbles with the details of the agreement.
minor criticism, trivial objection, trivial complaint, adverse comment, protest, query, argument, exception, moan, grumble, grouse, cavil
informal niggle, gripe, beef, grouch, nitpicking
archaic pettifogging
evasion, dodge;
2 archaic A play on words; a pun.


[no object] Back to top  
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.’
find fault with, raise trivial objections to, complain about, object to, cavil at, carp about;
split hairs, chop logic;
criticize, query, fault, pick, holes in
informal nitpick
archaic pettifog
be evasive, equivocate, avoid the issue, prevaricate, hedge, fudge, be ambiguous
informal beat about the bush


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.



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.


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.

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Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
greater than others in power or influence