captious

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj captious tending to find and call attention to faults "a captious pedant","an excessively demanding and faultfinding tutor"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Captious Apt to catch at faults; disposed to find fault or to cavil; eager to object; difficult to please. "A captious and suspicious age.""I am sensible I have not disposed my materials to abide the test of a captious controversy."
    • Captious Fitted to harass, perplex, or insnare; insidious; troublesome. "Captious restraints on navigation.""Caviling is the carping of argument, carping the caviling of ill temper."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • captious Apt to notice and make much of unimportant faults or defects; disposed to find fault or raise objections; prone to cavil; difficult to please; faultfinding; touchy: as, a captious man.
    • captious Proceeding from a faultfinding or caviling disposition; fitted to harass or perplex; censorious; carping; hence, insidious; crafty: as, a captious question.
    • captious Capable of receiving; capacious.
    • captious Insnaring; captivating.
    • captious Synonyms Captious, Carping, Caviling, faultfinding, hypercritical, crabbed, testy, pettish, splenetic, all express unamiable temper and behavior, with wrongheadedness. Captious expresses a disposition to catch at little or inoffensive things, and magnify them into great defects, affronts, etc. Carping is a strong word noting faultfinding that is both unreasonable and unceasing; it applies more to criticism on conduct, while caviling applies to objections to arguments, opinions, and the like: as, it is easier to cavil than to disprove. See petulant.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Captious ready to catch at faults or take offence: critical: peevish
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. captieux, L. captiosus,. See Caption
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. captionemcapĕre, to take.

Usage

In literature:

The second day he became very moody and captious, the third day no one knew what to do with him.
"Stories of Authors, British and American" by Edwin Watts Chubb
Was ever any man's conscience so captious before?
"Select Temperance Tracts" by American Tract Society
There was that still in the Makimmon blood which balked at measuring ribbands, selling calico to captious women.
"Mountain Blood" by Joseph Hergesheimer
To these doctors he proposed a captious question, which the casuists of Samarkand and Herat were incapable of resolving.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07" by Various
Weariness had induced this captious, hypercritical fit, and by and bye she would become used to him, she said.
"Hawtrey's Deputy" by Harold Bindloss
See here, my dear: here I am never captious or say naughty things!
"Not Like Other Girls" by Rosa N. Carey
Really, you are very captious.
"The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal," by Various
But they had redeemed that so royally in the final half as to silence the most captious critic.
"Bert Wilson on the Gridiron" by J. W. Duffield
He is critical, but not captious; laudatory, but not fulsome.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 18, 1914" by Various
Anyhow, we can't afford to be captious to our host.
"They of the High Trails" by Hamlin Garland
Ministers have a great deal of captious criticism to stand, if we may judge by Mr. Macdonald's anecdotes.
"Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland" by Daniel Turner Holmes
You're so captious, my dear Pen.
"The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by Harry Furniss
The capture of the treasure and the incidents of the voyage serve to make as entertaining a story of sea-life as the most captious boy could desire.
"Adrift on the Pacific" by Edward S. Ellis
On the whole the representation was well-balanced, with few weak spots in the acting for fault finding, even from a more captious gathering.
"The Strollers" by Frederic S. Isham
If one were captious, one might object to the thickness of his lips.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930" by Various
Jest and captiousness were entirely foreign to his mind.
"Arrows of Freethought" by George W. Foote
Skilful and Wilful and Captious and Queer Are never far off when mischief is near!
"All the Way to Fairyland" by Evelyn Sharp
Christopher Crabstick was Cross, Captious, Cutting, and Caustic, Whenever he could not get a book brought from Cole's Book Arcade.
"Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1" by Edward William Cole
And that I may not seem captious, let me describe my friend.
"Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume I (of II)" by Charles James Lever
For all of the captious criticism he had fallen in the way of bestowing upon her, how he loved her!
"The Mountain Girl" by Payne Erskine
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In news:

Chicago is young, clumsy, foolish, its architectural sins are unstable, captious and fleeting — Louis Sullivan.
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