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7 definitions found
 for cavil
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Kevel \Kev"el\, n. [Prov. E. kevil, cavel, rod, pole, a large
     hammer, horse's bit; cf. Icel. kefli cylinder, a stick,
     mangle, and Dan. kievle a roller.]
     1. (Naut.) A strong cleat to which large ropes are belayed.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. A stone mason's hammer. [Written also cavil.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Kevel head (Naut.), a projecting end of a timber, used as a
        kevel. Kevel

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cavil \Cav"il\ (k[a^]v"[i^]l), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Caviled or
     Cavilled; p. pr. & vb. n. Caviling or Cavilling.] [L.
     cavillari to practice jesting, to censure, fr. cavilla
     bantering jests, sophistry: cf. OF. caviller.]
     To raise captious and frivolous objections; to find fault
     without good reason.
     [1913 Webster]
  
           You do not well in obstinacy
           To cavil in the course of this contract. --Shak.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cavil \Cav"il\, v. t.
     To cavil at. [Obs.] --Milton.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cavil \Cav"il\, n.
     A captious or frivolous objection.
     [1913 Webster]
  
           All the cavils of prejudice and unbelief. --Shak.
     [1913 Webster] Caviler

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  cavil
      n 1: an evasion of the point of an argument by raising
           irrelevant distinctions or objections [syn: quibble,
           quiddity, cavil]
      v 1: raise trivial objections [syn: cavil, carp, chicane]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  117 Moby Thesaurus words for "cavil":
     adverse criticism, animadversion, argue, argufy, around the bush,
     aspersion, bad notices, bad press, bandy words, beat about,
     beg the question, bicker, boggle, captiousness, carp, carping,
     catch at straws, caviling, censoriousness, censure, chicane,
     choplogic, complain, complaint, contend, contest, criticism,
     criticize, cross swords, cut and thrust, cut up, demur, discept,
     dispute, dodge, equivocate, evade, evade the issue, exception,
     fault-find, faultfinding, fence, find fault, flak, give and take,
     hairsplitting, hassle, have it out, hedge, hit, home thrust,
     hostile criticism, hypercriticalness, hypercriticism, imputation,
     jesuitism, join issue, knock, lock horns, logomachize, moot,
     mystify, nagging, niggle, niggling, nit, nit-picking, nitpick,
     object, obloquy, obscure, overcriticalness, palter, parry,
     pestering, pettifog, pettifogging, pick holes, pick nits,
     pick to pieces, plead, polemicize, polemize, prevaricate,
     priggishness, pull apart, pull to pieces, pussyfoot, quibble,
     quibbling, quiddity, quillet, quip, quirk, quodlibet, rap,
     reflection, reproachfulness, shift, shuffle, shy, sidestep, slam,
     spar, split hairs, stricture, swipe, take exception, take sides,
     taking exception, tear apart, tear to pieces, tergiversate,
     thrash out, trichoschistism, try conclusions, wrangle
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  CAVIL. Sophism, subtlety. Cavilis a captious argument, by which a conclusion 
  
  evidently false, is drawn from a principle evidently true: Ea est natura 
  cavillationis ut ab evidenter veris, per brevissimas mutationes disputatio, 
  ad ea quce evidentur falsa sunt perducatur. Dig. 60, 16, 177 et 233; Id. 17, 
  65; Id. 33, 2, 88. 
  
  

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