Captious Cap"tious, a. [F. captieux, L. captiosus. See {Caption}.] 1. Apt to catch at faults; disposed to find fault or to cavil; eager to object; difficult to please. [1913 Webster]

A captious and suspicious age. --Stillingfleet. [1913 Webster]

I am sensible I have not disposed my materials to abide the test of a captious controversy. --Bwike. [1913 Webster]

2. Fitted to harass, perplex, or insnare; insidious; troublesome. [1913 Webster]

Captious restraints on navigation. --Bancroft.

Syn: Caviling, carping, fault-finding; censorious; hypercritical; peevish, fretful; perverse; troublesome.

Usage: {Captious}, {caviling}, {Carping}. A captious person is one who has a fault-finding habit or manner, or is disposed to catch at faults, errors, etc., with quarrelsome intent; a caviling person is disposed to raise objections on frivolous grounds; carping implies that one is given to ill-natured, persistent, or unreasonable fault-finding, or picking up of the words or actions of others. [1913 Webster]

Caviling is the carping of argument, carping the caviling of ill temper. --C. J. Smith. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • captious — [kap′shəs] adj. [ME capcious < L captiosus < CAPTION] 1. made only for the sake of argument or faultfinding [captious criticism] 2. fond of catching others in mistakes; quick to find fault; quibbling; carping SYN. CRITICAL captiously adv.… …   English World dictionary

  • captious — index contentious, contrary, critical (faultfinding), fractious, froward, perverse, petulant, querulous …   Law dictionary

  • captious — (adj.) c.1400, capcyus, from M.Fr. captieux (15c.), from L. captiosus fallacious, from captio (gen. captionis) a deceiving, fallacious argument, lit. a taking (in), from captus, pp. of capere to take, catch (see CAPABLE (Cf. capable)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • captious — caviling, carping, *critical, hypercritical, faultfinding, censorious Analogous words: *contrary, perverse: exacting, demanding (see DEMAND vb): peevish, petulant, snappish, *irritable: testy, choleric, *irascible Antonyms: appreciative …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • captious — [adj] very critical acrimonious, cantankerous, carping, caviling, cavillous, censorious, contrary, crabby, cross, demanding, deprecating, disparaging, exacting, exceptive, fault finding, finicky, hypercritical, irritable, nagging, nitpicking,… …   New thesaurus

  • captious — ► ADJECTIVE formal ▪ tending to find fault or raise petty objections. DERIVATIVES captiously adverb captiousness noun. ORIGIN Old French captieux, from Latin capere take, seize ; related to CAPTION(Cf. ↑caption) …   English terms dictionary

  • captious — adjective Etymology: Middle English capcious, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French captieux, from Latin captiosus, from captio deception, verbal quibble, from capere to take more at heave Date: 14th century 1. marked by an often ill natured …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • captious — captiously, adv. captiousness, n. /kap sheuhs/, adj. 1. apt to notice and make much of trivial faults or defects; faultfinding; difficult to please. 2. proceeding from a faultfinding or caviling disposition: He could never praise without adding a …   Universalium

  • captious — /ˈkæpʃəs / (say kapshuhs) adjective 1. apt to make much of trivial faults or defects; fault finding; difficult to please. 2. proceeding from a fault finding or cavilling disposition: captious remarks. 3. apt or designed to ensnare or perplex,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • captious — adjective Having a disposition to find fault unreasonably or to raise petty objections. But Peter Petrovich did not accept this retort. On the contrary, he became all the more captious and irritable, as though he were just hitting his stride. Syn …   Wiktionary

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