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 inclination to stress faults and raise objections <
captious critics
2. calculated to confuse, entrap, or entangle in argument <
a captious question
Synonyms: see criticalcaptiously adverbcaptiousness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — 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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