cavil :

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  • n  an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections
  • v  raise trivial objections

  • Who could cavil at the choice of a quality bio-pic about a slain gay activist? The HFPA could.
  • A frequent cavil against Brown is that he is not.
  • With that background, it might seem churlish to cavil at a serious attempt to address both needs.
News & Articles


  • John Hay in Los Angeles Times
    John Hay, one of Lincoln's closest aides, noted in his diary that by the summer of 1863, the president had essentially learned to rule his Cabinet with "tyrannous authority," observing that the "most important things he decides & there is no cavil."
  • Guido Calabresi in Reuters
    Judge Rakoff's findings establish beyond cavil the extraordinary nature of the Uzans' wrongful behavior and form a valid basis for the substantial punitive award of $1 billion against them,Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi wrote in a 23-page opinion.
  • Charles Clarke in
    Despite a good-faith effort by the Bush administration to provide Senate Democrats with all relevant information on the nomination, critics continue to expand the scope of their demands, and then cavil loudly about the administration's 'secrecy'... John Cornyn CNN Jan 5, 2005 15937 147811 cavilling In a blunt warning to Mr Brown, Mr Clarke said: In terms of the cabinet, how does he ensure he is working with and supporting the cabinet - helping colleagues solve problems rather than being someone who is just cavilling about what goes on? And my...

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