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characterized by fussy or petulant faultfinding; querulous:
carping criticism.
petty faultfinding.
to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil:
to carp at minor errors.
a peevish complaint.
Contemporary Examples

Facebook’s answer to its critics is: pay no attention to the carping.
Facebook’s Dilemma: Invade Privacy or Go Bust David Frum May 23, 2012

Three months ago, what was on display was the well-developed British talent for carping, sneering, and nitpicking.
Britain Gets Its Groove Back Peter Popham September 15, 2012

He was no carping presence, talking about how things were done in his day.
Earl Weaver, Baseball’s Brilliant Antagonist, Dies Tim Marchman January 19, 2013

“All he gets from Congress is negativism and carping,” says Dallek.
Obama Outlines His Post-Presidency Eleanor Clift August 8, 2014

Bill Burton, a former White House spokesman, calls the GOP carping “ridiculous.”
Obama’s Smart Crisis Management Howard Kurtz March 18, 2011

Historical Examples

She was another type of helpless person, the reverse of Molly, with a carping sense of responsibility.
The House of Fulfilment George Madden Martin

The most carping could have found no flaw in the quiet taste of his attire.
The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance

carping envy more readily favours the works of antiquity than those of the present day.
The Fables of Phdrus Phaedrus

However, the most carping critic could have found no fault with Edith’s manner.
Master of the Vineyard Myrtle Reed

They all admitted, even the most carping, that Maria was pretty.
By the Light of the Soul Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

tending to make petty complaints; fault-finding
(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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  • Carpo

    an ancient Greek goddess of summer fruit, considered by Athenians as one of the Horae. a combining form meaning “fruit,” “fruiting body,” used in the formation of compound words: carpophore; carpogonium. a combining form meaning “wrist,” used in the formation of compound words: carpometacarpal. Historical Examples It may perhaps not be superfluous here to observe […]

  • Carpocarpal

    carpocarpal carpocarpal car·po·car·pal (kär’pō-kär’pəl) adj. Mediocarpal.

  • Carpometacarpal

    Anatomy. of or relating to the carpus and the metacarpus. Ornithology. of or relating to the carpometacarpus. Historical Examples The carpometacarpal portion of the articulation is the part which is usually affected. Lameness of the Horse John Victor Lacroix carpometacarpal car·po·met·a·car·pal (kär’pō-mět’ə-kär’pəl) adj. Of, relating to, or involving the carpus and metacarpus.

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