quibble

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v quibble argue over petty things "Let's not quibble over pennies"
    • v quibble evade the truth of a point or question by raising irrelevant objections
    • n quibble an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Quibble A pun; a low conceit.
    • Quibble A shift or turn from the point in question; a trifling or evasive distinction; an evasion; a cavil. "Quibbles have no place in the search after truth."
    • Quibble To evade the point in question by artifice, play upon words, caviling, or by raising any insignificant or impertinent question or point; to trifle in argument or discourse; to equivocate.
    • Quibble To pun; to practice punning.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • quibble To trifle in argument or discourse; evade the point in question, or the plain truth, by artifice, play upon words, or any conceit; prevaricate.
    • quibble To pun.
    • n quibble A start or turn from the point in question, or from plain truth; an evasion; a prevarication.
    • n quibble A pun; a trivial conceit.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Quibble kwib′l a turning away from the point in question into matters irrelevant or insignificant: an evasion, a pun: a petty conceit
    • v.i Quibble to evade a question by a play upon words: to cavil: to trifle in argument: to pun
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Probably fr. quib, quip, but influenced by quillet, or quiddity,

Usage

In literature:

This girl was too handsome to quibble with.
"The Secret Witness" by George Gibbs
Young John quibbled with an easy conscience.
"Nancy McVeigh of the Monk Road" by R. Henry Mainer
Again men may quibble and warp, and ridicule, but no one will ever answer the question.
"God's Plan with Men" by T. T. (Thomas Theodore) Martin
This fact was immediately denied, but it was merely a question of word quibbling.
"New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915" by Various
This is not a quibbling of words, but a radical distinction.
"The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance" by Paul Elmer More
To stop either ignoring or quibbling over one-half of all our actual experience.
"The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul" by Jirah D. Buck
After all, it is a mere quibbling about words, for the meaning remains substantially the same.
"Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather" by Charles W. Upham
Should I have stooped to chase Your brawling lawyers through their flaws and quibbles?
"The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810" by Various
But all this is a quibble inspired by modesty.
"Fantazius Mallare" by Ben Hecht
Much is in picked prose full of quibbles and mistakings of the word.
"William Shakespeare" by John Masefield
I need only repeat, this is no time for personal gain and quibbling.
"Medal of Honor" by Dallas McCord Reynolds
I didn't quite like the sound of the last four words, "prior to the cremation," but I felt that it was not an occasion for quibbling.
"Where the Strange Trails Go Down" by E. Alexander Powell
Then M. de Comaing (in order to allow Frederick another moment for reflection) tried to raise some quibbles.
"Sentimental Education, Volume II" by Gustave Flaubert
His argument is of merciless length, and occasionally so minute as to sound like quibbling.
"The English Utilitarians, Volume I." by Leslie Stephen
To quibble over the conditions is the last resort of the defeated would-be solver.
"The Canterbury Puzzles" by Henry Ernest Dudeney
As for that quibble of nor more nor less, why, 'tis the debtor's place to deliver his promise.
"The Panchronicon" by Harold Steele Mackaye
They cannot be altogether cheated out of their rights by sophisms and quibbling.
"The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831" by Various
I certainly do not want to get into your political preserves by any quibble or dodge.
"History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II"
He never quibbled or thought of taking back any of the things which he had given to Christ.
"The Shepherd of the North" by Richard Aumerle Maher
He quibbles and questions, 'May I?
"The Way to God and How to Find It" by Dwight Moody
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In poetry:

"Away, away!" his Mentors cried,
"Thou uncongenial pest!
A quirk's a thing we can't abide,
A quibble we detest!
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Who sets for heresy his traps
Of verbal quirk and quibble,
And weeds the garden of the Lord
With Satan's borrowed dibble.
"A Spiritual Manifestation" by John Greenleaf Whittier
In open treaty. Rise above
Quibbles and shuffling off and on:
Here's friendship for you if you like; but love,-
No, thank you, John.
"No, Thank You John" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
In ruck and quibble of courtfolk
This giant hulked, I tell you, on her scene
With hands like derricks,
Looks fierce and black as rooks;
Why, all the windows broke when he stalked in.
"The Queen's Complaint" by Sylvia Plath
I ran to the court, where the sages of law
Were wrangling and jangling at quibble and flaw,--
Oh wondrous to me was the strife that I saw,--
But all that fierce riot
Was calm'd by the quiet That blest them at Home!
"Home" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
There were no romping children at Doctor Quibble's door;
Long past the silver wedding, no toys lay on the floor,
But to relieve her longings, to soothe her vain regrets,
His good wife had contrived to raise a family of pets.
"The Parrot and the Billy-Goat" by Henry Clay Work

In news:

It's time to set aside political quibbles and form an international plan.
No dribbling , but quibbling on prices OK. Get Our Newsletter Get Free Stuff.
Another blog this week declared Golden Void "the Bay Area's best new psych band," and I'm not about to quibble.
Potter commissioners quibble over mental health cases, parking.
City Officials, Others Quibble With Group Administering $100 Million of Columbia's Cash.
No dribbling, but quibbling on prices OK. Get Our Newsletter Get Free Stuff.
Coalition quibbling on Libya continues.
I haven't discovered a global authority that ranks railcars according to niceness, but I won't quibble with him.
Howard Hawks's finest western (1959), and perhaps his finest film—but who wants to quibble on this level.
Toasting a Vintage, With Few Quibbles.
To claim that it was not "genocide" is quibbling over terminology.
We could quibble, of course, about what the heart of the home is.
You have to trust them to make 95 percent of the decisions and quibble over the other five.
Of course, few are better than King at crafting maximalist pop spectacles, and one can't quibble with " Immortal 's" sheer bigness.
Well, it's a biopic so you have to expect that there will be quibbling over interpretation.
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In science:

Throughout this section, the following further assumption is made to ensure that various conditional probabilities can be defined without quibbling about null sets: Regularity assumption.
Poisson-Kingman partitions
This may be seen as quibbling but it is, in fact, equivalent to our physical prior, state above, that none of the quantities to which this method applies can drop below zero or become infinite in amplitude (mass, luminosity, time, etc).
Sigma One
Modulo these theoretical quibbles, it seems plausible that saturation describes the initial state of AA collisions at high energies.
Theory at Quark Matter '02
Apart from quibbles about infinite energies, in the limit λ → ∞ they recover the same result as for scalar, (2.14), which is as expected , since in the ideal limit the relative factor between scalar and spinor energies is 2(1 − 2−D ) in D spatial dimensions, i.e., 7/4 for three dimensions and 1 for one.
The Casimir effect: Recent controversies and progress
The purpose of the exercise is not to quibble with my assumed cosmology, but, rather, to imagine the questions of the deceased workshop participants as they enter heaven.
Proceedings of the Bonn/Bochum-Graduiertenkolleg Workshop 'The Magellanic Clouds and Other Dwarf Galaxies'
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