cavils; cavilling; cavilled; caviling; caviled

If your only cavil to your family's trip to Disney World is that you don't like airline food, you're not representing the anti-Mickey side of the argument very well. A cavil is a small or petty objection.

Cavil is not a word that comes up all that often. You can replace it with the more commonly used word quibble and still have the same meaning. If you cavil over a restaurant bill, you argue about the minute, unimportant details of who owes what — like whether your portion of the bill is $10.00 or $10.17.

Definitions of cavil
  1. verb
    raise trivial objections
    synonyms: carp, chicane
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    type of:
    express or raise an objection or protest or criticism or express dissent
  2. noun
    an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections
    synonyms: quibble, quiddity
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    type of:
    equivocation, evasion
    a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘cavil'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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