intr.v. quib·bled, quib·bling, quib·bles
To argue or find fault over trivial matters or minor concerns; cavil.
1. A trivial matter or minor concern raised in arguing or finding fault.
2. Archaic A pun.
[Probably diminutive of obsolete quib, equivocation, perhaps from Latin quibus, dative and ablative pl. of quī, who, what (from its frequent use in legal documents); see kwo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: quibble, carp1, cavil, nitpick
These verbs mean to raise petty or frivolous objections or complaints: quibbling about minor details; a critic who constantly carped; caviling about the price of coffee; tried to stop nitpicking all the time.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.