V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. critical and faultfinding; 2. argumentative and desiring to trap others in disagreements

Synonyms: faultfinding, quibbling, complaining, critical, hypercritical, carping

Antonyms: forgiving, tolerant

Tips: Captious often connotes an ongoing pattern of being critical, especially of being overly faultfinding in small matters. It can describe people or their attitudes. Captious is similar to quibbling, but quibbling is used strictly to describe someone who is trying to start a petty and trivial argument. Captious can be used in this sense, but is more often used to describe someone who is overly "faultfinding" and critical. Note: critical can also be a positive word to describe a thorough and fair judgment or analysis, where captious is always a negative word used to describe someone who tends to find fault in everything.

Usage Examples:

A captious perfectionist, she tended to frustrate those around her with her constant critiques of their hard work. (faultfinding, complaining)

I tried to resist her captious attitude, but soon I found myself drawn into the debate. (critical, provoking)

Her mother's captious observations about her appearance caused the girl to become insecure and critical of herself well into adulthood. (faultfinding, critical)

She's always so captious and argumentative, I find it difficult to have a friendly conversation with her. (argumentative, hypercritical)

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