Captious



apt to notice and make much of trivial faults or defects; faultfinding; difficult to please.
proceeding from a faultfinding or caviling disposition:
He could never praise without adding a captious remark.
apt or designed to ensnare or perplex, especially in argument:
captious questions.
Historical Examples

“That canoe may not belong to the cutter,” said the captious seaman.
The Pathfinder James Fenimore Cooper

Cicily Hamilton was inclined to be captious with her maid as she dressed that evening.
Making People Happy Thompson Buchanan

They are remarkably free from the vice he charges them withal—and have been admitted to be so by the most captious critics.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 Various

What a captious old woman will my sister make, if she lives to be one!
Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson

At first thought it may seem superficial and captious; but we do not think it will at the second, and still less at the third.
Short Studies on Great Subjects James Anthony Froude

He is critical, but not captious; laudatory, but not fulsome.
Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 18, 1914 Various

If any complain of these neglects in a captious spirit, we have nothing to hope from them.
Lectures on the Philosophy and Practice of Slavery William A. Smith

I cannot afford to be irritable and captious, nor to waste all my time in attacks.
Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson

They were, however, only mildly opposed to expansion; they were determined and captious in the interpretation of the Constitution.
The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane

Sewell, however, was no captious critic; he took what he got, and was thankful.
Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever

adjective
apt to make trivial criticisms; fault-finding; carping
adj.

c.1400, capcyus, from Middle French captieux (15c.) or directly from Latin captiosus “fallacious,” from captionem (nominative captio) “a deceiving, fallacious argument,” literally “a taking (in),” from captus, past participle of capere “to take, catch” (see capable). Related: Captiously; captiousness.

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    to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him. Obsolete. to capture; subjugate. Historical Examples You are enamored of them; they captivate you with their uncouth glamors; towards them you are drawn, eh? The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey It was, indeed, […]

  • Captivating

    to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him. Obsolete. to capture; subjugate. Contemporary Examples Olympia Snowe is starring as Hamlet these days, captivating and frustrating audiences in Washington and across the country. Snowe Removal Samuel P. Jacobs October 25, 2009 […]



  • Captivatingly

    to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him. Obsolete. to capture; subjugate. Historical Examples Not a point in the story is overlooked, and every phase of meaning is captivatingly illustrated in pantomime. Famous Prima Donnas Lewis Clinton Strang The present […]

  • Captivation

    to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him. Obsolete. to capture; subjugate. Historical Examples The marvel of their captivation lay in the spell of the enchanter. A Day’s Ride Charles James Lever There was a captivation in its promise of […]



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