One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a person) tending to find fault or raise petty objections.
critical, fault-finding, quibbling, niggling, cavilling, carping, criticizing, disapproving, censorious, judgemental, overcritical, hypercritical, pedantic, hair-splitting, pettifoggingView synonyms
- ‘A critic, and not necessarily a captious one, might argue that this title is in that no-man's-land in which paradox verges on contradiction.’
- ‘Now the objector to all of this is charged with being captious, with seeking to impose restraints on activities which lie at the heart of democratic processes.’
- ‘He has sworn there is only $1,000 of other debt out there apart from other sundry creditors, so for them to raise really, with respect, captious points about fairness and the like is interesting.’
- ‘I should withdraw my captious comments.’
- ‘Probably those who engage in such histrionics and captious sophistry, do so because of some driven obsession with the desire to be eternally ‘original’.’
- ‘If it is not wide-ranging and erratic, captious and unpredictable, it is not taste but snobbery.’
- ‘To say that a man has adopted a vulgar prejudice, is calculated to give offence to no one but an illiterate booby, who does not know the meaning of the words, or a captious, inflated self-sufficient pedant.’
- ‘Through his pen, inanity became animate, and the captious craft of caricature was raised to character study.’
- ‘It must be said it is difficult for any club to have one of these in the captious world of football.’
- ‘In his letters, as in conversation, he offers himself no sanctuary, and the picture we are left to gather is an exaggeration of the facts: cold, hard, captious, rarely affectionate, often gloomy.’
- ‘The story is autobiographical, and the tyrannical, captious, arbitrary, and selfish landowner is the author's mother, Varvara Petrovna Turgeneva.’
- ‘With program rivalries, people are said to be more captious and aware of the shows they are watching.’
- ‘A rather more captious way of putting your submission seems to be that, and are searching for identity and you do not demonstrate identity by ignoring change.’
- ‘The McIlhennys bump along the well-trodden tourist path, she captious, he grouchy.’
- ‘These are not merely captious theoretical objections.’
- ‘Crosby was particularly captious of Waters, arguing that she was, after all, a highly regarded actress and celebrated role model for the African American community.’
- ‘The book exhibits some of the more unpleasant characteristics of the forensic approach: captious logic-chopping and a tone of arrogant pomposity.’
- ‘I do not want to sound captious, but what was happening is essentially my question.’
- ‘At the risk of sounding captious, one must observe that a 4,000-year-old drawing or painting of a cat that resembles a cat living today does not prove paternity or direct descent.’
- ‘Is it simply captious to ask, if I had suggested 14 June, whether then it would have been brought back to 31 May?’
Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘intended to deceive someone’): from Old French captieux or Latin captiosus, from captio(n-) ‘seizing’, (figuratively) ‘deceiving’ (see caption).
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