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to raise irritating and trivial objections; find fault with unnecessarily (usually followed by at or about):
He finds something to cavil at in everything I say.
to oppose by inconsequential, frivolous, or sham objections:
to cavil each item of a proposed agenda.
a trivial and annoying objection.
the raising of such objections.
Historical Examples

verb -ils, -illing, -illed (US) -ils, -iling, -iled
(intransitive; foll by at or about) to raise annoying petty objections; quibble; carp
a captious trifling objection

1540s, from Middle French caviller “to mock, jest,” from Latin cavillari “to jeer, mock; satirize, argue scoffingly” (also source of Italian cavillare, Spanish cavilar), from cavilla “jest, jeering,” related to calumnia (see calumny).


Read Also:

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    spelunking. a hollow in the earth, especially one opening more or less horizontally into a hill, mountain, etc. a storage cellar, especially for wine. English History. a secession, or a group of seceders, from a political party on some special question. to hollow out. Mining. to cause (overlying material) to fall into a stope, sublevel, […]

  • Cavitary

    of, relating to, or characterized by a cavity or cavities. cavitary cav·i·tar·y (kāv’ĭ-těr’ē) adj. Relating to or having a cavity or cavities. Of, relating to, or being an animal parasite that has a body cavity and lives within the host’s body.

  • Cavitate

    v. 1892 (implied in cavitated), back-formation from cavitation. Related: Cavitating.

  • Cavitation

    the rapid formation and collapse of vapor pockets in a flowing liquid in regions of very low pressure, a frequent cause of structural damage to propellers, pumps, etc. such a pocket formed in a flowing liquid. Historical Examples noun the formation of vapour- or gas-filled cavities in a flowing liquid when tensile stress is superimposed […]

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