Friday, December 9, 2011


cavil [ˈkævəl] v. i.

1.) To find fault unnecessarily; raise trivial objections.

cavil v. t.

1.) To quibble about; detect petty flaws in.

cavil n.

1.) A carping or trivial objection (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: French caviller, from Old French, from Latin cavillari, to jeer, from cavilla, a jeering.

Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late,
I thus contest; then should have been refusd
Those terms whatever, when they were propos'd:
Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good,
Then cavil the conditions?" (Paradise Lost, John Milton, 1667).

(The Temptation and Fall of Eve, William Blake, 1808)


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I would cavil your description, but I'm bigger than that.

D4 said...

Easyish to remember I say.


Plenty of cavilling at large in the world today! (Is this one?)

Michael Westside said...

Cavil is like the definition of the internet ;)

Henry said...

I like to think I cavil very little, for the faults I find are necessary!

G said...

I know plenty of people who cavil a lot

Bibi said...

Can people cavil themselves? Because if so, then that's what I do when I stand in front of a mirror.

Since I've started revising for finals, I've had to think about you and your words quite a lot. I'm like: oh, hortus conclusus, has -E- written something about that? And then I see you haven't, and then I realise I just lost ten minutes of my life browsing through words.

i_love_weed said...

hmm never heard this one before

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