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to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil:
to carp at minor errors.
a peevish complaint.
Historical Examples

Naturally enough, he is carped at and reviled almost as much by his political friends as by his political foes.
Ireland Under Coercion (2nd ed.) (1 of 2) (1888) William Henry Hurlbert

The Citizen carped at the words, pointing out that a buffet was not a blow.
Sentimental Education, Volume II Gustave Flaubert

How those men had carped, and criticized her, chattered of the duties of her soul!
The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IX., March, 1862., No. LIII. Various

Byron sneered and carped at Southey as a “scribbler of all works.”
The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 Lord Byron

The trade with England on the coast of Oldenburg was carped on as uninterruptedly as if in time of peace.
Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

“Reminds me of the providential way that rivers always run past cities, just where they are needed,” carped the Colonel.
Yellowstone Nights Herbert Quick

The river banks would be lined with spectators, who envied, criticised, and carped.
A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia Amanda Minnie Douglas

As for the cavilling crew who carped at her during her life Mrs. Behn has answered them and she was thoroughly competent so to do.
The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. I (of 6) Aphra Behn

What is excellent should never be carped at nor discussed, but enjoyed and reverentially thought over in silence.
Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources James Wood

At the bottom of her heart she despised the other people, who carped and were loud over trifles.
The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

(intransitive) often foll by at. to complain or find fault; nag pettily
noun (pl) carp, carps
a freshwater teleost food fish, Cyprinus carpio, having a body covered with cycloid scales, a naked head, one long dorsal fin, and two barbels on each side of the mouth: family Cyprinidae
any other fish of the family Cyprinidae; a cyprinid

type of freshwater fish, late 14c., from Old French carpe “carp” (13c.) and directly from Vulgar Latin carpa (source also of Italian carpa, Spanish carpa), from a Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch carpe, Dutch karper, Old High German karpfo, German Karpfen “carp”); possibly the immediate source is Gothic *karpa. A Danube fish (hence the proposed East Germanic origin of its name), introduced in English ponds 14c. Lithuanian karpis, Russian karp are Germanic loan words.

“complain,” early 13c., originally “to talk,” from Old Norse karpa “to brag,” of unknown origin; meaning turned toward “find fault with” (late 14c.), probably by influence of Latin carpere “to slander, revile,” literally “to pluck” (see harvest (n.)). Related: Carped; carping.


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