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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (1)

1. an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections;
[syn: quibble, quiddity, cavil]


VERB (1)

1. raise trivial objections;
[syn: cavil, carp, chicane]


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
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]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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