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 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.’
- ‘I do not want to sound captious, but what was happening is essentially my question.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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 book exhibits some of the more unpleasant characteristics of the forensic approach: captious logic-chopping and a tone of arrogant pomposity.’
- ‘The story is autobiographical, and the tyrannical, captious, arbitrary, and selfish landowner is the author's mother, Varvara Petrovna Turgeneva.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I should withdraw my captious comments.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘These are not merely captious theoretical objections.’
- ‘The McIlhennys bump along the well-trodden tourist path, she captious, he grouchy.’
- ‘Is it simply captious to ask, if I had suggested 14 June, whether then it would have been brought back to 31 May?’
- ‘With program rivalries, people are said to be more captious and aware of the shows they are watching.’
- ‘If it is not wide-ranging and erratic, captious and unpredictable, it is not taste but snobbery.’
- ‘Probably those who engage in such histrionics and captious sophistry, do so because of some driven obsession with the desire to be eternally ‘original’.’
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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