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Quibble   /kwˈɪbəl/   Listen
Quibble

noun
1.
An evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections.  Synonyms: cavil, quiddity.



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"Quibble" Quotes from Famous Books



... the Son of God hath the witness in himself." I suddenly realized that that had been made true to me. I have the witness in my own heart that Christ is the Son of God, my Saviour! That His Presence is on earth and manifest to me at many times. No seeming variance of science, no quibble of the intellect, can ever disturb this faith on which my soul rests. It is more than a conviction; it is a perfect satisfaction! I KNOW! I may not be able to explain all mysteries, but I can never doubt again, because I know. ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... comic artist or the blackface expert of the vaudeville show, but of the really great humour which, once or twice in a generation at best, illuminates and elevates our literature. It is no longer dependent upon the mere trick and quibble of words, or the odd and meaningless incongruities in things that strike us as "funny." Its basis lies in the deeper contrasts offered by life itself: the strange incongruity between our aspiration and our achievement, the eager and fretful anxieties of to-day that fade into ...
— Further Foolishness • Stephen Leacock

... every eye was fixed upon the judge. The latter spoke. "The exception was conclusive; the prisoner must be discharged." I could not conceive it possible. What were truth, equity, morality—Nothing? And was murder innocence, if a quibble made it so? The jailer approached the monster, and whispered into his ear that he was now at liberty. He held down his head stupidly to receive the words, and he drew it back again, incredulous and astounded. Oh, what a secret he had ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... quibble," I cried angrily. "Science is aspiration. There's all the difference in the world between aspiration and pleasure. I have scarcely known what pleasure is. I have worked like a slave all my life, with the sole ambition of leaving something permanent ...
— The Blue Germ • Martin Swayne

... the historian. "The Puritans hated puns. The Bishops were notoriously addicted to them. The Lords Temporal carried them to the verge of license. Majesty itself must have its Royal quibble. 'Ye be burly, my Lord of Burleigh,' said Queen Elizabeth, 'but ye shall make less stir in our realm than my Lord of Leicester.' The gravest wisdom and the highest breeding lent their sanction to the practice. Lord Bacon playfully declared ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... very sorry, to hear thee say that. Thee can go if thee likes; but it grieves me to hear thee quibble so. Thee will not prosper, my son, if thee follows this course in life.' And the moisture came into the old man's eyes as he spoke. It filled mine, and rolled in large drops down ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... however, is of far less importance than the thing he has to say, and it detracts little from the cardinal importance of Marx that his books will presently demand restatement in contemporary phraseology, and revision in the light of contemporary facts. He opened out Socialism. It is easy to quibble about Marx, and say he didn't see this or that, to produce this eddy in a backwater or that as a triumphant refutation of his general theory. One may quibble about the greatness of Marx as one may quibble about the greatness of Darwin; he remains great ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... at least as mankind think fit to live, and do not take refuge in the simultaneous act of suicide recommended under certain conditions by Novalis. When, however, it is thus positively asserted to be impossible that human life should be happy, the assertion, if not something like a verbal quibble, is at least an exaggeration. If by happiness be meant a continuity of highly pleasurable excitement, it is evident enough that this is impossible. A state of exalted pleasure lasts only moments, or in some cases, and with some intermissions, ...
— Utilitarianism • John Stuart Mill

... be very well spared? It is a reproach to any Christian establishment if every man cannot claim the benefit of it who can say that he believes in the religion of Jesus Christ as it is set forth in the New Testament. You say the terms are so general that even Deists would quibble and insinuate themselves. I answer that all the articles which are subscribed at present by no means exclude Deists who will prevaricate; and upon this scheme you would at least ...
— Science & Education • Thomas H. Huxley

... the Report [The Annual Report of the Examiners in Physiology under the Science and Art Department, which, being still an Examiner he had to sign.] and have nothing to suggest except a quibble at page 4. If you take a stick in your hand you may feel lots of things and determine their form, etc., with the other end of it, but surely the stick is properly said to be insensible. Ditto with the teeth. I feel very ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 2 • Leonard Huxley

... merchant, entraps him into pledging a pound of his flesh as surety for the loan. Bassanio marries Portia, but misfortune overtakes Antonio, he forfeits his bond, and his life is only saved by a quibble ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... deliver her husband's friend, and to maintain her husband's honor by the discharge of his just debt, though paid out of her own wealth ten times over. It is evident that she would rather owe the safety of Antonio to any thing rather than the legal quibble with which her cousin Bellario has armed her, and which she reserves as a last resource. Thus all the speeches addressed to Shylock in the first instance, are either direct or indirect experiments on his temper and feelings. She must be understood from the beginning ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... custom did not apply to me; and I wished to repudiate this suggestion. I believed then (and I believe now) the third term custom or tradition to be wholesome, and, therefore, I was determined to regard its substance, refusing to quibble over the words usually employed to express it. On the other hand, I did not wish simply and specifically to say that I would not be a candidate for the nomination in 1908, because if I had specified the year when I would not be a candidate, it would have been widely accepted ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... silence, reasons which we thought quite justifiable. But they don't hold good if we are to be brought into conflict with the police. Mr. Duclos told me this morning that if we were driven to speak we must do so with complete honesty and without quibble. What ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... marriage as his chiefest courtier, and being thereby placed too much in the radiance of the king's presence; or, perhaps, an allusion to the proverb, "Out of Heaven's blessing, into the warm sun:" but it is not unlikely that a quibble is meant ...
— Hamlet • William Shakespeare

... going to quibble over words. Believing me to be dead, you had me impersonated, planning to use my name ...
— Swirling Waters • Max Rittenberg

... chiefly by his own exertions when assisting Sulla in the liberation of Italy; while Agesilaus obtained the throne in defiance of both human and divine laws, for he declared Leotychides to be a bastard, although his brother had publicly recognised him as his own son, and he also by a quibble evaded the oracle ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... say that I look upon this objection to the bill as a mere quibble on the part of the President, and as being hard-pressed for some excuse in withholding his approval of the measure; and his allusion to foreigners in this connection looks to me more like the ad captandum of the mere politician or ...
— History of the Thirty-Ninth Congress of the United States • Wiliam H. Barnes

... by his opponents for alleged undue exercise of arbitrary authority. The Supreme Court, established on the Mexican model, was reproached with seeking to overstep the limits of its functions. Every legal quibble was adjusted by a dilatory process, impracticable in a colony yet in its infancy, where summary justice was indispensable for the maintenance of order imperfectly understood by the masses. But the fault lay less with the justices than with the constitution of the Court itself. Nor was ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... earnestly "The Spirit of the Laws" was as sure to fight slavery as any man who to-day reveres Channing or Theodore Parker. Those French thinkers threw such heat and light into Jefferson's young mind, that every filthy weed of tyrannic quibble or pro-slavery ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... Verner's Pride now, but he might be coaxed to do it for the sake of his wife. She'll have a fit of illness if she has to go out of it. Lionel is one to stand by his own to the last; while Verner's Pride was his, he'd have fought to retain its possession, inch by inch; but let ever so paltry a quibble of the law take it from him, and he'd not lift up his finger to keep it. But, I say, I think he might be got to ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... fundamental, chief, or great doctrines of their holy religion. Down on all such quibbling! Others have objected to the words 'substantially correct,' as meaning anything or nothing, at pleasure. This, like the other objection, is a quibble. None can err here, unless it be wilfully.... The amount of the whole is, 'In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.' This is as far as the General Synod has gone or could ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 2: The United Lutheran Church (General Synod, General - Council, United Synod in the South) • Friedrich Bente

... out of the Gulf Stream and the sea had smoothed itself out, I made a speedy and satisfactory recovery; but if it had been seasickness I should have confessed it in a minute. I have no patience with those who quibble and equivocate in regard to their ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... The law has too wide a mesh to deal with the terror which this man exercises. Such men are the only justification of lynch law, the quick, sharp justice which is administered without subtlety and without quibble." ...
— Jack O' Judgment • Edgar Wallace

... and the deposit was to be transferred to him when he gave proof of complete and perfect regeneration. When asked to account for a bottle of whisky found in his room, and for a burst of inebriety that represented a good deal in spot cash, Nickie quibbled. The quibble was obvious even to an innocent soul like James. James was hurt, but ...
— The Missing Link • Edward Dyson

... make use of the keys of heaven and hell brought about the moral revolt of the Reformation; and, at the present day, the disgust excited by the doctrine of everlasting damnation is amongst the strongest motives to popular infidelity; all able apologists feel the strain. Some reasoners quibble about everlasting and eternal; and the great Catholic logician "submits the whole subject to the theological school," a process which I do not quite understand, though I assume it to be consolatory. The doctrine, in short, can hardly ...
— Prose Masterpieces from Modern Essayists • James Anthony Froude, Edward A. Freeman, William Ewart Gladstone, John Henry Newman and Leslie Steph

... stay by what he had found. "We have friends here who make us welcome. We need not feel that we are utterly strangers. I have a good job and it would be foolishness for me to look farther. Let us not quibble any more. If we are going to make a home for the children, let us get at it," he said in ending the contention. "If you girls wish to go on down home, or anywhere else, visiting, do it now before we start in. I want you to be satisfied, but I can ...
— The Hero of Hill House • Mable Hale

... better take care of ourselves and the boys, Charlie," said Uncle Aleck, cheerily. "It's pretty mean for Uncle Sam to leave the settlers to take care of themselves and the post at this critical time, I know; but we can't afford to quibble about that now. Safety is the first consideration. What does Younkins say?" he asked ...
— The Boy Settlers - A Story of Early Times in Kansas • Noah Brooks

... to understand," says Cuyler. "In my case, however, the reparation comes a little late. The fact is, Gentlemen, that I—well, why quibble? I may be good for another ten or a dozen years. But I shall go on just as I've been going on, following my daily routine in the department, at my club, at my bachelor quarters. You get into it, you know,—bath, breakfast, desk, ...
— Shorty McCabe on the Job • Sewell Ford

... went to the stable, and by the first early gray had his mules packed. He looked once again towards Tucson, and took the road he had promised not to take, leaving the guitar behind him altogether. His faith protested a little, but the other self invented a quibble, the mockery that he had already "come by Tucson," according to his literal word; and this device answered. It is a comfort to be divided no longer against one's self. Genesmere was at ease in his thraldom to the demon with whom he had wrestled through the dark hours. ...
— Red Men and White • Owen Wister

... (quibble), cypress (or cyprus) being a transparent material, and when black used ...
— The Poetaster - Or, His Arraignment • Ben Jonson

... of writers too if he had pleased.] "In the lowest form he places those whom he calls Les Petits Esprits, such things as our upper-gallery audience in a playhouse, who like nothing but the husk and rind of wit, and prefer a quibble, a conceit, an epigram, before solid sense and elegant expression. These are mob readers. If Virgil and Martial stood for Parliament-men, we know already who would carry it. But though they made the greatest appearance in the field, and cried the loudest, the best ...
— Essays and Tales • Joseph Addison

... Prince of so great a province, you will not set yourself up any more haughtily. You will quibble no longer concerning tithes and tolls with ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... having seen Chyd. I had no right to do so, for I knew that he was now an additional distress. But the next morning when Guinea and I were alone at the breakfast table she asked me if I had not met him down the road—said that she had seen him crossing the meadows with his dogs. I began to quibble and she spoke up spiritedly: "Oh, you shouldn't hesitate to tell me. It ...
— The Jucklins - A Novel • Opie Read

... "Don't quibble with me, sir. I saw, if I did not hear. You passed Miss Wayne a note. I am astonished!" she said, in the tone ...
— Little Miss Grouch - A Narrative Based on the Log of Alexander Forsyth Smith's - Maiden Transatlantic Voyage • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... the famous general, Charles de Bourbon, late Constable of France. The young French King, at a time when Spain, England, and Italy were all against him, had most unwisely deprived Bourbon of the whole of his vast estates by means of a legal quibble; and his greatest subject, driven to desperation by this ungrateful treatment, had passed over to the service of Charles V., and was now in command of the Spanish army. It was he who urged the immediate pursuit of the French when Bonnivet, discouraged by ill success and sickness ...
— Bayard: The Good Knight Without Fear And Without Reproach • Christopher Hare

... during Cromwell's usurpation, usually put a crumb of bread into a glass of wine, and before they drank it, would exclaim with cautious ambiguity, "God send this Crum well down!" A royalist divine also, during the Protectorate, did not scruple to quibble in the following prayer, which he was accustomed to deliver:—"O Lord, who hast put a sword into the hand of thy servant, Oliver, put it into his heart ALSO—to do according to thy word." He would drop his voice at the word also, and, after ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 400, November 21, 1829 • Various

... de St. Gre into trouble, his own son could not involve him with the Baron," answered Madame la Vicomtesse. "And it seems to me, Monsieur, that you are already so far beholden to Monsieur de St. Gre that you cannot quibble about going a little more into his debt. Come, Mr. Temple, how has Monsieur de St. Gre ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... As to your quibble about Paul and Apollos, whether they, or others, were the persons, though I am satisfied you are out, yet it weakeneth not my argument; for if they were blame worthy for dividing, though about the ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... suggest once too often contempt for Western folk who worked for Eastern potentates. It was true he regarded the difference between a contract and direct employment as merely a question of degree, and a quibble in any case, and he felt pretty sure that the Blaines would not risk the maharajah's unchancy friendship by dismissing himself; but he suspected there were limits. He could not imagine why, but he had noticed that insolence to Blaine himself was fairly safe, Blaine ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... the State House in Louisiana. The Packard government fell, and the Democrats took possession. The lawyers could furnish cogent reasons why Packard was not entitled to the governorship, although the electoral vote of Louisiana had been counted for Hayes; but the Stalwarts maintained that no legal quibble could varnish over so glaring an inconsistency. Indeed, it was one of those illogical acts, so numerous in English and American history, that resolve difficulties, when a rigid adherence to logic would tend ...
— Historical Essays • James Ford Rhodes

... to make you think yourself better than others, quibble over texts, wear sour looks, domineer over others' consciences or give your own over to bondage; stifle your scruples, follow religious forms for fashion or gain, do good in the hope of escaping future ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... which apparently depends on a very low quibble. Alcibiades is told, that his estate lies in a pitch'd field. Now pitch, as Falstaff says, doth defile. Alcibiades therefore replies, that his estate lies in defiled land. This, as it happened, was not understood, and all the ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... quibble, and to travel out of the record, since, of course, if a bird is at all of a venerable age, it becomes stiff and deficient in vital warmth long before it is popped off! Moreover, if the grouse were not legitimately my property, why, forsooth, ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... a mere quibble—a legal quibble. Well, there is no doubt that you would make a very ...
— An Algonquin Maiden - A Romance of the Early Days of Upper Canada • G. Mercer Adam

... opinion, or to think that other men do. Say I am innocent and I get a lawyer. He would be as likely to believe me guilty as not; perhaps more. What would he do, whether or not? Act as if I was— shut my mouth up, tell me not to commit myself, keep circumstances back, chop the evidence small, quibble, and get me off perhaps! But, Miss Summerson, do I care for getting off in that way; or would I rather be hanged in my own way—if you'll excuse my mentioning anything ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... Lick-my-loof himself, out for his morning walk! His irritable cantankerous nature would have been annoyed at sight of anyone treating his gate with such disrespect, but when he saw who it was that thus made nothing of it—clearing it with as much contempt as a lawyer would a quibble not his own—his displeasure grew to indignation ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... Vane, rising from his seat and beginning to walk up and down the plainly furnished, book-lined common-room, "the question is what He intended, and surely no Christian in his senses could believe for a moment that our Lord intended to quibble with words and to play with double meanings. If He did not mean what He said, and intend those who followed Him to do what He said, what becomes of our faith? If that is not so, surely there is nothing left for ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... Prize, and as if she belonged to French Subjects, according to a commission he had for that purpose; tho', one would think, after what he had already done, that he need not have recourse to a quibble to give ...
— Pirates • Anonymous

... are fateful. We must fight; and no longer over trifles; we cannot now break each other's heads over a quibble, or believe that the whole world hangs on the question whether the instant of death is the last minute of this life or the first of the next. No—what now remains to be decided is whether the old gods shall be victorious, whether we shall continue to live free and happy under the rule of ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... an oracle was sent, at Marcus Aurelius' request, by Alexander to the Roman army on the Danube during the war with the Marcomanni, declaring that victory would follow on the throwing of two lions alive into the river. The result was a great disaster, and Alexander had recourse to the old quibble of the Delphic oracle to Croesus for an explanation. Lucian's own close investigations into Alexander's methods of fraud led to a serious attempt on his life. The whole account gives a graphic description of the inner working of one among the many new oracles that were springing up ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... conceive of any other category. But it is frequently hard to say in which class a given character falls. Worse still, many persons do not even distinguish the two categories accurately—a confusion made easier by the quibble that all characters must be acquired, since the organism starts from a single cell, which possesses practically none of the traits of ...
— Applied Eugenics • Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson

... epitaph, short as it is, the faults seem not to be very few. Why part should be Latin, and part English, it is not easy to discover. In the Latin the opposition of immortalis and mortalis, is a mere sound, or a mere quibble; he is not immortal in any sense contrary to that ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... swear. Which being done, he protested, that it might not be constructed to any other sense than the genuine words he delivered in the minute he did subscribe and swear. That which induced him to this, he says, was, "They gave it in his own meaning, and so far was his mind deceived, that by a quibble and nice distinction they thought that the word might bear, That this was not a disowning of that nor no declaration that ever he saw (save one of their pretending) nor that neither but in so far, or if so be; which different expressions he was taught ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... the original home of Langshans in North China. Other pens of Langshans in the test failed to make remarkable records, but this pen of Chinese stock, with a record of 246 5-6* eggs per hen for the first year and 414 1-2* eggs per hen for two years, is the world's record layers beyond all quibble. This record is held by a breed and a region in which we would not expect to ...
— The Dollar Hen • Milo M. Hastings

... "Well, I won't quibble any more. But, after all, if I understand your project, there is little specially new in it, further than the magnifying ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... Ireland 'to receive further instructions to drive on the design to extirpate monarchy'; that he had spent a great deal of his money, but had never been repaid the L2000 or L3000 he had been promised for his journey; he used to vilify monarchy, 'jocundarily scoffing at it, and would ordinarily quibble in this manner, saying "this Commonwealth will never be at peace till 150 be put down." I asked him what this 150 was, he told me the three L's, and afterwards interpreted the meaning to be the Lords, the Levites, and the Lawyers; with that, said I, we shall be like the Switzers, ...
— State Trials, Political and Social - Volume 1 (of 2) • Various

... cheeriest, sunniest nature that ever dwelt in human body, with a sympathy that went out to everybody and everything—children, animals, the old, the feeble, the fallen—a man too big to be jealous, too noble to quibble, a man so manly that he would accept guilt rather than impute it to another. If he had been possessed of less love he would have been a stronger man. The generous nature lies open and unprotected—through its guilelessness it ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 7 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Orators • Elbert Hubbard

... It has some malignant power over his mind, and its fascinations are irresistible. Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisitions, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be amusing attention with incidents, or enchaining it in suspense, let but a quibble spring up before him, and he leaves his work unfinished. A quibble is the golden apple for which he will always turn aside from his career, or stoop from his elevation. A quibble, poor and barren as it is, gave him such delight, that he was ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... Glenister?" His voice, like his manner, was jealously eager, and he watched her carefully as she replied, without quibble or deceit: ...
— The Spoilers • Rex Beach

... who believe in God and blacken his character; who credit him with less knowledge than a child, and less intelligence than an idiot; who make him quibble, deceive, and lie; who represent him as indecent, cruel, and revengeful; who give him the heart of a savage and the brain of a fool. These are ...
— Flowers of Freethought - (First Series) • George W. Foote

... to me to be a mere triffle, a quibble.—Suppose you had the money, I ought perhaps to have waited until I had your authorization; but I, Comte d'Esgrignon, was pressed for money, so I—— Come, come, your prosecution is a piece of revengeful spite. Forgery is ...
— The Jealousies of a Country Town • Honore de Balzac

... memory appears to have been keenly felt; but its truth is admitted. Those who knew anything of the subject are "the so-called men of science," whose three P's were assailed; prestige, pride, and prejudice: this the author tries to effect for himself with three Q's; quibble, quirk, and quiddity. He explains that the Scribes and Pharisees would not hear Jesus, and that the lordly bishop of Rome will not cast his tiara and keys at the feet of the "humble presbyter" who now plays the part of pope in Scotland. I do not know whom he means: but perhaps the friends of the ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II) • Augustus de Morgan

... enough to center attention upon the quibble and then said: "My friend, I first tried, unsuccessfully, to have the United States take Texas as a gift. Not until I threatened to turn Texas over to England did I finally succeed. There may be within the sound of my voice some who have knowledge of sheep culture. They have ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... a plot. Why quibble about it? If you smile at him it's a plot. If you put a rose in your hair it's a deep-laid scheme, deeper than you perceive—the scheme the universe is built on. We wouldn't have lent ourselves to the ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... influence of the priesthood, however, owing to various causes, seems to be on the wane, and a habit of abandoning all religious thought is much on the increase. But the realization that our people never attack any Church, or quibble about details of creed and ceremonial, has won their way to the hearts of many, and there can be no doubt that we have a great future amongst these peoples. In Peru the law does not allow any persons not of the Romish ...
— Regeneration • H. Rider Haggard

... answer is always the same—'No!' And I point to the mission centres already established. It is then they tell me that the deplorable condition exists, not because of the mission, but despite it." He paused with a gesture of impatience. "Because! Despite! A quibble of words! If the fact remains, what difference does it make whether it is because or despite? It must be a great comfort to the unfortunate one who is degraded, diseased, damned, to know that his degradation, disease, and damnation, were wrought not because, ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... confessed with the utmost frankness that he had been sent to sea, as a wild boy whom it was impossible to keep steady at home; and he quite readily admitted that he had not introduced himself to Zack under his real name. But at this point his communicativeness stopped. He did not quibble, or prevaricate; he just bluntly and simply declared that he would tell nothing more than he had ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... would not lie to save their own. A doctor, many suggested, might tell an overanxious patient or friend that there was hope, saving his conscience perhaps by reflecting that there was hope, although they had it while he had none. The end at first in such cases may be very noble and the fib or quibble very petty, but worse lies for meaner objects may follow. Youth often describes such situations with exhilaration as if there were a feeling of easement from the monotonous and tedious obligation of rigorous literal veracity, and here mentors are liable to become nervous ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... propose to discount the trumpery restrictions and the gimcrack "safeguards" of the proposed measure, how in short, they tear the bill to rags, laugh its powers to scorn, and hold its authors in high derision. The Belfast men do not discuss the bill, do not examine it clause by clause, do not quibble over the purport of this or the probable effect of that, do not ask how the customs are to be collected, or who is to pay for this, that, or the other. They descend to no details, enter into no particulars, point out no minor fallacies, argue no questions of the ultimate effect of ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... I do not see any difference between reading a book in manuscript or in print. I don't pretend to quibble on a point like that. After looking at it, I felt that it was desirable I should read the whole. You may remember, Hester, that I showed you my Modern Dissent. If I did not make restrictions, why ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... How the foul fiend can it interest the peasants and mechanics in the Strand, to know that the Earl of Huntinglen is sitting down to dinner? But my father looks our way—we must not be late for the grace, or we shall be in DIS-grace, if you will forgive a quibble which would have made his Majesty laugh. You will find us all of a piece, and, having been accustomed to eat in saucers abroad, I am ashamed you should witness our larded capons, our mountains of ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... and hits where he did not aim. He has a foolish sleight of wit that catches at words only and lets the sense go, like the young thief in the farce that took a purse, but gave the owner his money back again. He is so well versed in all cases of quibble, that he knows when there will be a blot upon a word as soon as it is out. He packs his quibbles like a stock of cards; let him but shuffle, and cut where you will, he will be sure to have it. He dances ...
— Character Writings of the 17th Century • Various

... chit-chat in your letters, which, by the bye, I wish you would honor me with somewhat oftener. If you frequent any of the myriads of polite Englishmen who infest Paris, who are they? Have you finished with Abbe Nolet, and are you 'au fait' of all the properties and effects of air? Were I inclined to quibble, I would say, that the effects of air, at least, are best to be learned of Marcel. If you have quite done with l'Abbes Nolet, ask my friend l'Abbe Sallier to recommend to you some meagre philomath, to teach you a little geometry and astronomy; not enough to absorb your attention and ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... of Aristotle, of which teachers and rhetoricians could avail themselves, in order, under certain titles of thought, to observe what would best suit the matter they had to treat, and thus enable themselves to quibble and talk with fluency ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant



Words linked to "Quibble" :   fudge, evade, skirt, put off, equivocation, sidestep, cavil, contend, dodge, debate, bicker, evasion, duck, squabble, circumvent, parry, elude, fence, argue, hedge



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