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Definition of "cavil" [cav•il]

  • To find fault unnecessarily; raise trivial objections. See Synonyms at quibble. (verb-intransitive)
  • To quibble about; detect petty flaws in. (verb-transitive)
  • A carping or trivial objection. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cavil" in a sentence
  • "The association of Brother Cavil's name with the word 'cavil' seems almost irresistible."
  • "And if they cavil at it, as MPs have cavilled and continue to cavil at the detection of their felonies, they may yet discover what the whoosh of the guillotine blade sounds like."
  • "Forgive the cavil, but I can't help feeling that schools facing the most savage cuts in several generations as a direct result of the actions of banks such as Lloyds would have preferred to retain a music department, say, than the chance to share in the magic of the Lloyds story."