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Quibble   Listen
verb
Quibble  v. i.  (past & past part. quibbled; pres. part. quibbling)  
1.
To evade the point in question by artifice, play upon words, caviling, or by raising any insignificant or impertinent question or point; to trifle in argument or discourse; to equivocate.
2.
To pun; to practice punning.
Synonyms: To cavil; shuffle; equivocate; trifle.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Quibble" Quotes from Famous Books



... and he did, in his great passion, marry her. That he should afterwards deny it officially seems to me to have been utterly inevitable. His denial did her not the faintest damage, as I have pointed out. It was, so to speak, an official quibble, rendered necessary by the circumstances of the case. Not to have denied the marriage in the House of Commons would have meant ruin to both of them. As months passed, more serious difficulties awaited the unhappily wedded pair. What boots it to repeat the story of the Princes great debts ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... Absurdity has every encouragement afforded it; and nonsense has room to flourish in. Nothing is stunted by the churlish, icy hand of indifference or severity. The poet runs riot in a conceit, and idolizes a quibble. His whole object is to turn the meanest or rudest objects to a pleasurable account. The relish which he has of a pun, or of the quaint humour of a low character, does not interfere with the delight with which he describes a beautiful image, or the most refined love. The clown's ...
— Characters of Shakespeare's Plays • William Hazlitt

... acquired. It is impossible to 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

... not so bad as your fears have represented him; it is true that he is Bury'd, altho' he is not dead; to understand this quibble you must know that he is at Bury St. Edmunds, relaxing, after the fatigues of lecturing and Londonizing. The little Rickmaness, whom you enquire after so kindly, thrives and grows apace; she is already a ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... and the result was a confirmation, beyond doubt or quibble, that death, as Dr. Parkinson had declared, had been solely occasioned by cholera. The assurance company still hesitated; but as this conduct could now only be looked upon as perverse obstinacy, we served them with a writ ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... "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 of ...
— Little Miss Grouch - A Narrative Based on the Log of Alexander Forsyth Smith's - Maiden Transatlantic Voyage • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... him in a police court. How had I come to know him, to divine him? Nothing shall convince me that I have not seen that man in the world of spirits. In the world of spirits and water I know I did: but that is a mere quibble of words. I was not surprised when he spoke in an Irish brogue. I had had cognizance of him before somehow. Who has not felt that little shock which arises when a person, a place, some words in a book (there is always a collocation) present themselves to you, and you know that ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the calls, I read of seven wars since the Revolution, and three insurrections, not counting the riots and strikes at Chicago, Homestead, Brooklyn, and in the mountains in the West. Dr. Jacobi said in an article in the "New York Sun," two years ago, "We do not vote for war." That appears like a quibble, for we vote for what brings, or may bring it; but neither is it exact in fact. Three times, at least, in our history men have deposited their ballots in the box, knowing that the result meant peace or war. These were at the second election of Madison in 1812, the election of ...
— Woman and the Republic • Helen Kendrick Johnson

... turn to quibble. Tell me: until you were attracted to this young man—attracted, no doubt, because he was so unlike the European of your long experience—had you deviated from the conclusion, arrived at many years before, that you had had enough of love—of ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... declared was but a quibble, and that I would not hear of the captain being told; and then it was that Ballantrae made me a witty answer, for the sake of which (and also because I have been blamed myself in this business of the Sainte-Marie-des-Anges) ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... lace about her throat in disorder; at the window, his back turned to her, he flung over his shoulder: "Look here—you can go. I won't hold you any longer. I suppose your uncle can fix it up; some damned legal quibble will get you out of it. ...
— The Iron Woman • Margaret Deland

... 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, ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... able to determine, in eighteen hundred years, what are the 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 go; but it does not interfere with the liberty of the District Synods. Any District Synod may go beyond ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 2: The United Lutheran Church (General Synod, General - Council, United Synod in the South) • Friedrich Bente

... "Do not quibble. You know, and I know, that you are keeping something back; and I ask you, in her behalf, and in the cause of justice, to ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... Inzendorf, and closed his church. He demanded of all the lords, Protestant as well as Catholic, an unconditional oath of allegiance, giving vague promises, that perhaps at some future time he would promulgate a decree of toleration, but declaring that he was not bound to do so, on the miserable quibble that, as he had received from Rhodolph a hereditary title, he was not bound to grant any thing but ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... unprotected girls could be taken in guarded litters to the sea- coast and shipped to Ireland or to Cadiz, Valencia, Alexandria or Morocco with no difficulty whatever unless some one got wind of the fact. As for the Irish King, a man who had the sort of record he had, was not likely to quibble over the means used by Biterres in getting himself a bride. And before the captives within the castle could reach even the nearest of their friends and bring help, the whole troop would have ...
— Masters of the Guild • L. Lamprey

... 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 ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... 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 be made tangible without shocking men's consciences ...
— Prose Masterpieces from Modern Essayists • James Anthony Froude, Edward A. Freeman, William Ewart Gladstone, John Henry Newman and Leslie Steph

... place. Upon this is based the logical topic 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 and an ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... 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 ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... Paul's quibble, "If the dead rise not from the grave, then is our religion vain." Lincoln once referred to this kind of reasoning by saying, "I object to the assumption that my ambition is to have my son marry a negress, simply because I am struggling for emancipation." Mrs. Eddy may heal you, but ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... trap this organisation. 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

... quibble," said Irving. "The alternative for running is not running. Therefore when ...
— The Jester of St. Timothy's • Arthur Stanwood Pier

... dawn he 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 ...
— Red Men and White • Owen Wister

... 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, ...
— The Missing Link • Edward Dyson

... France, that they have revolted solely because of "this cruel, unjust, and most tyrannical murder, intended against towns and multitudes." As if they had not revolted already! Their pretext seems to mean that they do not want to alter the sovereign authority, a quibble which they issued for several months, long after it was obviously false. They also wrote to the nobles, to the French officers in the Regent's service, and to ...
— John Knox and the Reformation • Andrew Lang

... elective term, so that the third term 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 ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... no consideration by waiting? Have I ever pressed my claim till I knew I could make you comfortable and happy? But why do I cringe and beg like this?" he added, setting his teeth hard with the pain of disappointment. "If you really loved me you could not quibble about the thing you call duty." And he strode back and forth, refusing ...
— Idle Hour Stories • Eugenia Dunlap Potts

... defiantly in broad daylight. Nobody dreamed that the law would be carried out against them. The Cardinal would, they thought, deal with them as rulers have dealt with serf-mastering law-breakers from those days to these,—invent some quibble and screen them with it. But his method was sharper and shorter. He seized both, and executed both on the Place de Greve,—the place of execution ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... therefore my soul, having heard their voice, flutters, and already seeks to discourse subtilely, and to quibble about smoke, and having pricked a maxim with a little notion, to refute the opposite argument. So that now I eagerly desire, if by any means it be ...
— The Clouds • Aristophanes

... eager, he thought. But reiterated from day to day it wore on his nerves after a while. Added to the something he sometimes thought he caught glimmering in her tip-tilted eyes, it made him more than a little uncomfortable. He fell back upon a quibble ...
— Once to Every Man • Larry Evans

... free man, "liber." As "Liber" was also a name of Bacchus, Tyndarus quibbles, and says, "I did not assert that I am Liber, but that I am Philocrates." In consequence of the idiom of the Latin language, his answer (non equidem me Liberam, sed Philocratem esse aio) will admit of another quibble, and may be read as meaning, "I did not say that I am a free man, but that Philocrates is." This maybe readily seen by the Latin scholar, but is not so easily ...
— The Captiva and The Mostellaria • Plautus

... He saw that the reason which he had given for disbelief was untenable, and he was too straightforward to quibble about it. ...
— The Middy and the Moors - An Algerine Story • R.M. Ballantyne

... of the divine nature is that it is a stooping nature, which bows to weak and unworthy souls, and on them pours out the full abundance of its manifold gifts. So the 'beauty of the Lord' means, by no quibble or quirk, but by reason of the essential loveliness of His lovingkindness, both God's loveliness and God's goodness; God's graciousness and God's gracefulness (if I may ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... that believeth on 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 more I meet with modern ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... dishonorable quibble," said Willy; "my father cared nothing for your politics, your kings, or ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... said. "Put the whole thing on the expense account. You don't think I'm going to quibble about a few dollars, ...
— That Sweet Little Old Lady • Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA Mark Phillips)

... every drop of human breath, whilst 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 learned for future government and conduct! What a friend and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... them that it was not done. They saw an unarmed man shot down and instantly killed in one of the most frequented streets of the city while endeavoring to escape from his pursuer. They saw the forms of trial applied in this clear case, and after every quibble and perversion of law which ingenuity could devise had been tried, the lame and impotent conclusion arrived at of a verdict of manslaughter, and a sentence for a short period to the State Prison. They saw a gambler, while quietly conversing ...
— A Sketch of the Causes, Operations and Results of the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856 • Stephen Palfrey Webb

... 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 ...
— Essays and Tales • Joseph Addison

... Johnson says:—'A quibble is intended between as the conditional particle, and ass the beast of burthen.' On this note Steevens remarked:—'Shakespeare has so many quibbles of his own to answer for, that there are those who think it hard he should be charged with others which perhaps he never thought of.' The ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... refraining from what the mere human instinct of destruction would strongly impel them to, without counting the temptation of dollars,—and this only because they had been taught that Sunday was a day of rest and worship, wherein no man should catch fish, and knew no theological quibble or mercantile close-sailing by which to weather on God's command. It sounds little to us who have not been tempted, or, if tempted, have gracefully succumbed, on the plea that other people do so too; but how many stock-speculators would see their follows buying bargains and making easy ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... roundly. What next? The idea. He was not to be so completely silly. She didn't propose to have the responsibility of his catching pneumonia just for the sake of a quibble. ...
— The Pit • Frank Norris

... quibble. It isn't her happiness we are talking about,—nor yet your hanging about London. Gird yourself up and go on with what you've got to do. Put your work before your feelings. What does a poor man do, who goes out hedging and ditching with a dead child lying in his house? If you get ...
— The Prime Minister • Anthony Trollope

... about as fit to right as an old horse to leap a fence, but I had the wit to see that my only hope lay in a bold front. At any rate, a clean death in battle was better than burning, and my despair was too deep to let me quibble about the ...
— Salute to Adventurers • John Buchan

... which they may raise money. I think the passage and rejection of this bill a fortunate incident. Every State will certainly concede the power; and this will be a national confirmation of the grounds of appeal to them, and will settle for ever the meaning of this phrase, which, by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the General Government in a claim of universal power. For in the phrase, 'to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the general welfare,' it is a mere question of syntax, whether the two last infinitives are governed by the ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... did James's. "Well, well—you quibble. I dare say Urquhart has fifteen thousand a year, and even you will know that I haven't half ...
— Love and Lucy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... "Swear not at all";[1137] but upon such as would not live according to that higher law, upon those who persisted in the use of oaths and vows, the lesser and evidently just requirement of strict fidelity to the terms of self-assumed obligations was to be enforced, without unrighteous quibble or inequitable discrimination. ...
— Jesus the Christ - A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy - Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern • James Edward Talmage

... served the government faithfully and zealously, as a soldier; he advanced money for them upon some foreign station; but the government was ungrateful and ungenerous to him, and in consequence of some quibble, they have refused to repay him what he advanced on their account. He complained and remonstrated, he became importunate for justice, he was considered troublesome, and for complaining they have sent him to prison, under the suspension ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... short, you will see from the facts that I'm showing, The state of the case is exceedingly sad; If Thespis's people go on as they're going, Olympus will certainly go to the bad. From Jupiter downward there isn't a dab in it, All of 'em quibble and shuffle and shirk, A premier in Downing Street forming a cabinet, Couldn't find people ...
— The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan - The 14 Gilbert And Sullivan Plays • William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

... 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 ...
— The Boy Settlers - A Story of Early Times in Kansas • Noah Brooks

... 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, ...
— 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 ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... remarks that, supposing happiness impossible, the prevention of unhappiness might still be an object, which is a mode of Utility. But the alleged impossibility of happiness is either a verbal quibble or an exaggeration. No one contends for a life of sustained rapture; occasional moments of such, in an existence of few and transitory pains, many and various pleasures, with a predominance of the active over the passive, and moderate expectations ...
— Moral Science; A Compendium of Ethics • Alexander Bain

... capacity of judging, into three classes (he might have said the same of writers, too, if he had pleased). In the lowest form he places those whom he calls les petits esprits—such things as are our upper-gallery audience in a playhouse, who like nothing but the husk and rind of wit; prefer a quibble, a conceit, an epigram, before solid sense and elegant expression. These are mob-readers. If Virgil and Martial steed for Parliament-men, we know already who would carry it. But though they make the greatest appearance in the field, and cry the loudest, the best ...
— Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry • John Dryden

... Tennessee said, 'This idea about poor foreigners somehow or other bewilders and haunts the imagination of a great many. I am constrained to say that I look upon this objection to the bill as a mere quibble on the part of the President, as being hard pressed for some excuse in withholding his approval of the measure. His allusion to foreigners in this connection looks to me more like the ad captandum of the ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... strong, solid and self-sufficient on the outside. But inside, like every Court, it was a den of quibble, quarrel, envy, and the hatred which, tinctured with fear, knocks an anvil-chorus ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... censured 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 ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... on which was founded this malignant clique in Richmond was the merest quibble about the date of his commission to the rank of full general. Because its date was later than that of Robert E. Lee he ...
— The Victim - A romance of the Real Jefferson Davis • Thomas Dixon

... does not imply that the conception is the only possible and complete one. We should always bear in mind that the world is alive, and changing, and moving. It goes on to disclose a new phase, or to add a new truth. The subtlest logic of old is a mere quibble of nowadays. The miracles of yesterday are the commonplaces of to-day. Now theories are formed, new discoveries are made, only to give their places to newer theories are discoveries. New ideals realized or new desires satisfied ...
— The Religion of the Samurai • Kaiten Nukariya

... Turpin's or Monmouth Geoffry's Chronicle; Men whose historical superiority Is always greatest at a miracle. But Saint Augustine has the great priority, Who bids all men believe the impossible, Because 'tis so. Who nibble, scribble, quibble, he Quiets at once ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... for the protection of society, somebody shall be punished when a crime has been committed.' Though English lawyers are too apt to set off 'an unreasonable hardship against an unreasonable indulgence,' 'to trump one quibble by another, and to suppose that they cannot be wrong in practice because they are ostentatiously indifferent to theory,' the temper of the law is, in the main, 'noble and generous.' 'No spectacle,' he says, 'can ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... "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 of means ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... 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 highest fundamental principles, as you say, how ought you to blush for carrying it as you do to persons, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... doing as he would have him. The meaning of this was, that he would seize the ship as fair prize, and as if she had belonged to French subjects, according to a commission he had for that purpose; though, one would think, after what he had already done, that he need not have recourse to a quibble to ...
— Great Pirate Stories • Various

... If the Senate would not pass his statehood bill, he was for the Walker amendment. A fearful responsibility rested upon Congress. The sad fate of a family from his own State, which had moved to California, had brought home to him the full measure of his responsibility. He was not disposed to quibble over points of law, while American citizens in California were exposed to the outrages of desperadoes, and of deserters from our own ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... I've hit the mark! That was the way of it!—And now here, Thorpe! Let all that's been said be bye-gones! I don't want any verbal triumph over you. You don't want to wrong me—and yourself too—by sticking to this quibble about vendor's shares. You intended to be deuced good to me—and what have I done that you should round on me now? I haven't bothered you before. I came today only because things are particularly rotten, financially, just now. And I don't even want to hold ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... Solomon was a Chine-ponim, or droll, having that inextinguishable sense of humor which has made the saints of the Jewish Church human, has lit up dry technical Talmudic, discussions with flashes of freakish fun, with pun and jest and merry quibble, and has helped the race to survive (pace Dr. Wallace) by dint of a ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... a paper at his elbow, and as he read it his face changed, but by no means cleared. "Hum—ha!" he muttered, "it seems you have some fancy status here—political trick, I suppose—some quibble about Habshiabad lying outside Granthistan. But it's all one. If you ain't under my command, you don't get mentioned in my despatches—see? Eh, how does that ...
— The Path to Honour • Sydney C. Grier

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

... not a fine education; I am not capable of entering into a disquisition upon dialectics, as I believe you call it; but I do not believe the language I employed bears any such construction as Judge Douglas puts upon it. But I don't care about a quibble in regard to words. I know what I meant, and I will not leave this crowd in doubt, if I can explain it to them, what I really meant in ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... Arnold and Charles Kingsley; and whoever, at that time, read 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 paradox must ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... already studying law, for at least by 1709 (we cannot tell how much earlier) he was "by trade an Attorney."[8] It seems likely that various touches in the comedies reflect his training for this calling. In The Humour of the Age, Pun and Quibble, the principal fops, are a pair of articled law-clerks who detest green-bags and (it comes out at one point) are collaborating on a play. (Readers of the present reprint will note, also, that the money which ...
— The Fine Lady's Airs (1709) • Thomas Baker

... we love. Some cynical and shallow reasoners like to argue that such acts are only a disguised form of selfishness because, as we have a sympathetic share in the pleasure, we benefit by it, ourselves. Any such argument is usually found to be no more than a quibble on words and a pretense of cleverness. Nevertheless, as this sort of talk is liable to crop up at any time, in connection with human motives, and cause a confusion of idea, it may be just as well to pause for a moment and ...
— Heart and Soul • Victor Mapes (AKA Maveric Post)

... to comb and blow about, but the thought of the men prevented her. She did not like the idea of their seeing her going about with her hair down; after her experiences in the boat it seemed absurd to quibble over a thing like this and she tried to argue with herself without avail. It seemed to her that if she went about in neglige like that she would lower herself. How? There was nothing unwomanly in flowing hair, there was nothing indelicate. ...
— The Beach of Dreams • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... Homer Crawford. "I'm not here to quibble with self-confessed malcontents. I've been sent to represent the State Department, to report to them, and, above all, to do what I can to prevent your activities from redounding to the further advantage of the Soviet Complex. I assume you ...
— Border, Breed Nor Birth • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... In fact, his tones if anything is some low-sperited. "I takes it," he says, when he's able to command his feelin's, "that you declines them proffers with your winchester at the time when made." But the lady dismisses this as a quibble, an' merely sayin' that she won't be paltered with no farther, orders Oscar an' the Bible sharp who's ridin' inside to assemble by the edge of the trail. The Bible sharp attempts to lay the foundations ...
— Faro Nell and Her Friends - Wolfville Stories • Alfred Henry Lewis

... pun or quibble. To clinch, or to clinch the nail; to confirm an improbable story by another: as, A man swore he drove a tenpenny nail through the moon; a bystander said it was true, for he was on the other ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... his lawyers asserting that, according to the Salic law, 'no part of the heritage of Salic land can fall to a woman,' and that therefore no woman could rule in France. As a matter of fact this was a mere quibble of the lawyers. The Salic law had been the law of the Salian Franks in the fifth century, and had to do with the inheritance of estates, not with the inheritance of the throne of France, which was not at that time in existence. The quibble, ...
— A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3) - From the earliest times to the Death of King Edward VII • Samuel Rawson Gardiner

... quirk of law instead of nestling in the eternal heart of the unchangeable and righteous Father, who is merciful in that he renders to every man according to his work, and compels their obedience, nor admits judicial quibble or subterfuge. God will never let a man off with any fault. He must have him clean. He will excuse him to the very uttermost of truth, but not a hair's-breadth beyond it; he is his true father, and will have his child true ...
— Unspoken Sermons - Series I., II., and II. • George MacDonald

... to sit here and quibble; you're too clever altogether," I said, and I got up and wondered in which direction there was most to do, but Nina stood up, too, and put her hand through ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... me may trade; Let me not quibble o'er the price; But may I, once the bargain's made, With courage meet the sacrifice. If happiness for ages long My little term of life can buy, God, for my country make me strong; To-morrow let me ...
— Over Here • Edgar A. Guest

... 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 so ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... carpet the matches were being dropped, did not like to join in the discussion. It was too difficult for him. He could not even quibble. If he spoke, he should simply make himself a fool. He preferred to listen, and to watch the tobacco-smoke stealing out past the window-seat into the tranquil October air. He could see the court too, and the college cat teasing the college tortoise, and the kitchen-men with supper-trays ...
— The Longest Journey • E. M. Forster

... (CYPRUS) (quibble), cypress (or cyprus) being a transparent material, and when black ...
— Epicoene - Or, The Silent Woman • Ben Jonson

... with assassinating Governor Steunenberg of Idaho. Their leaders, Moyer and Haywood, were anarchists like themselves, and although they professed contempt for law, as soon as they were arrested and brought up for trial, they clutched at every quibble of the law, as drowning men clutch at straws to save them; and, be it said to the glory or shame of the law, it furnished enough quibbles, not only to save them from the gallows, but to let them loose again on society with the legal whitewash ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... "The crest of Clopton is a falcon clapping his wings, and rising from a tun; and I verily believe the rose clapt on to be the miserable quibble intended."] ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 207, October 15, 1853 • Various

... off, but Lord 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

... took a fancy to add to the cost of the roads as much more as the guarantee would have saved. It was for their interest that the guarantee should not be given. It was withdrawn. The faith of England—till then regarded as something sacred—was violated; and the answer was a criticism on a phrase—a quibble upon the construction of a sentence, which all the world for six months had read one way. The secret history of this wretched transaction I do not seek to penetrate. Enough is written upon stock-books and in the records of courts in Canada to give us the proportions ...
— The Tribune of Nova Scotia - A Chronicle of Joseph Howe • W. L. (William Lawson) Grant

... Gordon admitted. He was suddenly in no mood to quibble with Izzy's personal code. "So you paid it. Now show me where I signed any agreement ...
— Police Your Planet • Lester del Rey

... "A quibble, when all is said." He stepped to Lionel's side, and looked down at the pale handsome face over which the dark shadows of death were already creeping. "If he would but speak in the interests of this ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... Dr. Johnson,) gave him such delight that he was content to purchase it by the sacrifice of reason, of propriety, and even of truth; a quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world, and was ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 19, - Issue 552, June 16, 1832 • Various

... a ream of paper: we'll have a kingdom of gold for't: A quibble. REALM was frequently written ream; and frequently (as the following passages shew), even when the former spelling was given, the ...
— The Jew of Malta • Christopher Marlowe

... for heresy his traps Of verbal quirk and quibble, And weeds the garden of the Lord With Satan's ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... hand. "Oh, don't quibble! Why, the creation of an artificial digestive system alone is awesome—not to mention the ...
— Ten From Infinity • Paul W. Fairman

... of a rich and noble family without the consent of the parents, was treated with great asperity. Having been told by the father that he was to expect no money from him, the doctor went home and wrote the following note to him: "John Donne, Anne Donne, undone." This quibble had the desired effect, and the distressed couple ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... you will take advantage of me and of every quibble against me;" and there at last she began to break down; "but if there is justice in heaven or earth my child shall have it, though you and all were leagued ...
— Lady Hester, or Ursula's Narrative • Charlotte M. Yonge

... distinguish, severalize^; recognize, match, identify; separate; draw the line, sift; separate the chaff from the wheat, winnow the chaff from the wheat; separate the men from the boys; split hairs, draw a fine line, nitpick, quibble. estimate &c (measure) 466; know which is which, know what is what, know 'a hawk from a handsaw' [Hamlet]. take into account, take into consideration; give due weight to, allow due weight to; weigh carefully. Adj. discriminating &c v.; dioristic^, discriminative, distinctive; nice. Phr. il y ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... is? I looked at it in that light. And sure enough, when we had passed 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

... Anyone who wishes to quibble that the date should be postponed for a century and a half, until the time of the German prince, Otto, may do ...
— Despoilers of the Golden Empire • Gordon Randall Garrett

... and the two great-grandsons of Reuben fell out with each other over just such a questionable enterprise as had wrecked a partnership a hundred years ago. I can see him now as he came hurrying into our office that day full of the plan for his great scheme—just a quibble of the law and the thing was done. We were all to be made rich and successful by it, he explained. There is no use in describing to you the intricacies of his idea; it was one of those shoal waters in which the honesty of young lawyers can sometimes come to grief. ...
— The Windy Hill • Cornelia Meigs

... ducking his poll. "Noa!" he repeated in a lower note; and then, while a sombre grin betokening idiotic enjoyment of his profound casuistical quibble ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

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

... short their friendship as 'twas rare. Whom blood had join'd—and small the wonder!— The force of interest drove asunder; And, as is wont in such affairs, Ambition, envy, were co-heirs. In parcelling their sire's estate, They quarrel, quibble, litigate, Each aiming to supplant the other. The judge, by turns, condemns each brother. Their creditors make new assault, Some pleading error, some default. The sunder'd brothers disagree; For counsel one, have counsels three. All lose their wealth; and now their sorrows Bring ...
— The Fables of La Fontaine - A New Edition, With Notes • Jean de La Fontaine

... fellow, and the like. Called by some women who once loved him Lapinello, Lappinaccio, little Lappo. Called now in God as a good religious should be, Lappentarius, from a sweet saint myself discovered—or invented; need we quibble?—in an ancient manuscript. And it is my merry purpose now, in a time when I, that am no longer merry, look back upon days and hours and weeks and months and years that were very merry indeed, propose to set down something of my own jolly doings and lovings, and incidentally ...
— The God of Love • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... back to Broadway, when she said, That one more journey that night she'd lead him, Before she'd let him go home to bed. And he, not caring to quibble or question, At once fell in with the lady's suggestion, Not thinking she'd "one more" ...
— Nothing to Say - A Slight Slap at Mobocratic Snobbery, Which Has 'Nothing - to Do' with 'Nothing to Wear' • QK Philander Doesticks

... at Malden, in Essex, in the year 1738, that three horses (and no more than three) started for a L10 plate, and they were all three distanced the first heat, according to the common rules in horse-racing, without any quibble or equivocation; and the following was the solution:—The first horse ran on the inside of the post; the second wanted weight; and the third fell and broke ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... offerings. The fact that the despot pays interest on a part of what he steals raises him to the position of the magnanimous brigand who leaves his victims just enough money to carry them to the nearest town. Possibly it is after all a quibble of definitions, and the difference may not be so great as it seems at first sight. But then, all morality is but the shadow cast on one side or the ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... truth seems to be that the glamour of the newer fame of Faraday has dazzled a little the eyes of the rulers of the institution of the present generation. But that, after all, is a small matter about which to quibble. There is glory enough for all in the Royal Institution, and the disposal of busts and portraits is unworthy to be mentioned in connection with the lasting fame of the great men who are here in question. It would matter little if there were no portrait at all of Rumford here, ...
— A History of Science, Volume 5(of 5) - Aspects Of Recent Science • Henry Smith Williams

... assertions, and much more: and would the reflecting and honest people of England believe, that in buying up poor voters, in debauching, poor constituencies, and afterwards shielding themselves by a contemptible quibble, and buying off the consequences, the conduct of members was either honourable to themselves, or beneficial to their constituents? He believed the people would say the chief criminal was the briber; the rich man who went down with money in ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... I had a pretty easy time in slavery days. They was good to us. Besides I was a house niggah." (Those who have been "house niggahs" never quibble at the word slave or negro. A subtle social distinction brewed in the black race to separate house servants from field hands as far as wealthy planters from "poor white trash.".) "Once I heard a man say of my mother, 'You could put on a white boiled shirt and lie flat down on the floor in ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... remark! A most ingenious quibble! He went to Millcote this morning, and will be back here to-night or to-morrow: does that circumstance exclude him from the list of your acquaintance—blot him, as it were, out ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... or punning—but I think this is call'd punning—Is this Gentlemans humour—if so, being a Soldier, I don't see it calls his sense in question at all—but now pray let's see, how our Critick manages a quibble, with a blunder tack'd to the Tail on't, in the page before, there, in the aforesaid Play, ...
— Essays on the Stage • Thomas D'Urfey and Bossuet

... her sister's letter, and to some purpose; and scorn of the girl who from some paltry quibble could abandon in danger the man she professed to love, filled her soul to the exclusion of any sisterly or ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... course, only if you're going to push things to the point of taking advantage of a quibble like that, your chance of happiness is more or less slim! So three years ago Carleton proved that he hadn't cared a whoop about the legal or religious aspects of the case, and left Ted. And now Ted can't see herself, at twenty-seven, tied to another ...
— The Story Of Julia Page - Works of Kathleen Norris, Volume V. • Kathleen Norris

... veridication, they can't claim anybody's lying, but they can claim self-deception. You make a statement you believe, true or false, and the veridicator'll back you up on it. They'll attack qualifications on expert testimony. They'll quibble about statements of fact and statements of opinion. And what they can't exclude or attack, they'll accept, and then deny that it's ...
— Little Fuzzy • Henry Beam Piper

... obeyed in silence. The King's question was not one which called for an answer; or rather he understood that Amboise must give the answer, give it emphatically and without a quibble. Once outside the door he paused. Between Saint-Pierre, Leslie, and himself no love was lost, but the bond of a united watchfulness against a common danger bound them ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... the war into the enemy's camp, the terrified lady breathed again. And no doubt it is easy thus to circumvent a child with catchwords, but it may be questioned how far it is effectual. An instinct in his breast detects the quibble, and a voice condemns it. He will instantly submit, privately hold the same opinion. For even in this simple and antique relation of the mother and the child, ...
— Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... loyal, have I not? Juste ciel!" Rising, he walked about the great room, his hands clasped behind him. "My conduct was magnificent, was it not? Don't quibble with words, Brigit. In plain language, I was a scoundrel, a beast, and now I am trying to behave—not like a gentleman, but like a decent man. And why you won't let me, ...
— The Halo • Bettina von Hutten

... a quibble. I speak for her, yes, my dear sir. Her action in defiance of her family and her friends proved the strength of what she felt for the man she married; that she have remained with him three years—until it was impossible—proved ...
— The Guest of Quesnay • Booth Tarkington

... lawyer's sophistry, Lord's quibble, critic's jest, all end in thee, All rest in peace ...
— The Poetical Works Of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1 • Alexander Pope et al

... offered? that a sensible man like Antonio should sign it? that all his ships should be wrecked within three months? that the court should really consider taking the life of a noble citizen on such a pretext? and that a quibble like the failure to mention a drop of ...
— Teachers' Outlines for Studies in English - Based on the Requirements for Admission to College • Gilbert Sykes Blakely

... Convention have excited such indignation. For the French, by so acting, could not deem themselves breaking an engagement; no doubt they looked upon themselves as injured,—that the failure in good faith was on the part of the British; and that it was in the lawlessness of power, and by a mere quibble, that this construction was afterwards put upon ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... 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 ...
— Utilitarianism • John Stuart Mill

... The only quibble we have about the way Cassell's laid out the book is the amazing amount of inconsistency in the hyphenation, but we believe we have detected most of the ...
— Marmaduke Merry - A Tale of Naval Adventures in Bygone Days • William H. G. Kingston

... a quibble. [Poor HORSHAM gasps.] I'm not going to pretend either now or in a month's time that I think Trebell anything but a most dangerous acquisition to the party. I pay you a compliment in that, Trebell. Now, Horsham proposes that we should go to ...
— Waste - A Tragedy, In Four Acts • Granville Barker

... "Don't quibble," said Allen with energy; "it's not like you. That man is so bad, so unsavory, so vile, that you simply mustn't have him about. ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... pounds of flour, had been standing for a couple of hours, and in the intense cold (it was sixty below zero) the runners had frozen fast to the hard-packed snow. Men offered odds of two to one that Buck could not budge the sled. A quibble 5 arose concerning the phrase "break out." O'Brien contended it was Thornton's privilege to knock the runners loose, leaving Buck to "break it out" from a dead standstill. Matthewson insisted that the phrase included breaking the runners from the frozen grip of the snow. A majority ...
— Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year • E.C. Hartwell

... animal now living is, in its simplest state, but part of the personal identity of one of the original germs of all life whatsoever, and hence, if any now living organism must be considered without quibble as being itself millions of years old, and as imbued with an intense though unconscious memory of all that it has done sufficiently often to have made a permanent impression; if this be so, we can answer the above questions perfectly well. The creature goes through ...
— Form and Function - A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology • E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

... could I help bestowing many sorrowful thoughts upon the simple warriors whose hands and hearts were set there, in all truth and honesty; and who only learned in course of time from white men how to break their faith, and quibble out of forms and bonds. I wonder, too, how many times the credulous Big Turtle, or trusting Little Hatchet, had put his mark to treaties which were falsely read to him; and had signed away, he knew not what, until it ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... admission. But it is still maintained that the Bay of Fundy is not a part of the Atlantic Ocean because it happens to be named in reference to the St. Croix in the same article of the treaty. To show the extent to which such an argument, founded on a mere verbal quibble, may be carried, let it be supposed that at some future period two nations on the continent of North America shall agree on a boundary in the following terms: By a line drawn through the Mississippi from its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico to its source; thence a parallel of ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Tyler - Section 2 (of 3) of Volume 4: John Tyler • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... advised, by the legal advisers of the Crown, that the Natives' Land Bill would be class legislation of a kind that would never be allowed by His Majesty's Government. The originators of the Bill, however, were determined so to circumvent the constitutional quibble raised by the legal advisers as to seal our doom; and by adroitly manipulating its legal phrases, it seems that it was recasted in such a manner as to give it a semblance of a paper restriction on European encroachment on native rights. But class legislation the Act is, for whereas in his travels ...
— Native Life in South Africa, Before and Since • Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje

... spirit—this habit of questioning every thing whenever a quibble can be raised—should continue to advance, where is the law, which, after fighting its way through both houses of the legislature, and, perhaps, escaping the veto, may not be eventually contested and defeated? We know that in many ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various



Words linked to "Quibble" :   cavil, squabble, pettifog, niggle, circumvent, sidestep, put off, hedge, contend, argue, quiddity, parry, equivocation, elude, evasion, bicker



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