cavils, cavilling, cavilled
VERB: no passive (disapproval)
If you say that someone cavils at something, you mean that they make criticisms of it that you think are unimportant or unnecessary. [FORMAL]

Since the government has insisted that cash will be shifted into this area, the opposition can hardly cavil...

[V at n] Historians tend to cavil at suggestions that this event marked the start of the Civil War.

Cavil is also a noun.

These cavils aside, most of the essays are very good indeed.

(in AM, use caviling, caviled)

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cavil — may refer to:* Brother Cavil, a fictional character from the re imagined Battlestar Galactica television series * Kwame Cavil (born 1979), Canadian Football League wide receiver …   Wikipedia

  • Cavil — Cav il (k[a^]v [i^]l), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Caviled} or {Cavilled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Caviling} or {Cavilling}.] [L. cavillari to practice jesting, to censure, fr. cavilla bantering jests, sophistry: cf. OF. caviller.] To raise captious and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cavil — Cav il, v. t. To cavil at. [Obs.] Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cavil — Cav il, n. A captious or frivolous objection. [1913 Webster] All the cavils of prejudice and unbelief. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cavil — I verb attack, belittle, calumniari, carp, carpere, censure frivolously, complain frivolously, condemn, criticize frivolously, decry, denigrate, denounce, deprecate, deride, disapprove, discredit, disparage frivolously, faultfind, find fault with …   Law dictionary

  • cavil — 1540s, from M.Fr. caviller to mock, jest, from L. cavillari to satirize, argue scoffingly, from cavilla jest, jeering, related to calumnia (see CALUMNY (Cf. calumny)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • cavil — ► VERB (cavilled, cavilling; US caviled, caviling) ▪ make petty objections. ► NOUN ▪ a petty objection. ORIGIN Latin cavillari, from cavilla mockery …   English terms dictionary

  • cavil — [kav′əl] vi. caviled or cavilled, caviling or cavilling [OFr caviller < L cavillari < cavilla, jeering < * calvilla < calvari, to deceive; akin to calumnia, CALUMNY] to object when there is little reason to do so; resort to trivial… …   English World dictionary

  • Cavil — Numéro Un Numéro Un Personnage de Battlestar Galactica Alias Frère Cavil Origine monde cylon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cavil — cav|il [ˈkævəl] v past tense and past participle cavilled present participle cavilling BrE past tense and past participle caviled present participle caviling AmE [i]formal [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: cavillari to …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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