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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



... speeches are wanted, great guns like to have the fire to themselves. Neither did he split upon the opposite rock of "promising young men," who stick to "the business of the house" like leeches, and quibble on details; in return for which labour they are generally voted bores, who can never do anything remarkable. But he spoke frequently, shortly, courageously, and with a strong dash of good-humoured personality. He was the man whom a minister could get to say something which other ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... of the phrase possibly originated, as Malone suggested, in the Latin play referred to above (Earlier Plays) which was acted at Oxford in 1582. It is easy to see how the Elizabethan tendency to word-quibble and equivoque would help to give currency to the Latin form. Cf. Hamlet's joke ...
— The New Hudson Shakespeare: Julius Caesar • William Shakespeare

... Charlemagne had given to study was checked. The torches he had lighted were on the point of being extinguished. That famous university which he had created had fallen into decline. A prey to all the cavils of pedantry, it substituted dispute and quibble to true philosophy. ...
— Paris As It Was and As It Is • Francis W. Blagdon

... a nation our Government has evaded, up to this hour, pronouncing the expected verdict, has preferred to quibble and define, in its vain attempt to hold the barbarian to a "strict accountability"—whatever that may mean. France does not want our army or our navy, not even our money and our factories, except on business terms, but she has looked in vain for our affirmation as a nation of ...
— The World Decision • Robert Herrick

... of 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

... in and out of Cannock and Co.'s store, from late in the morning till early in the evening. I use the last words advisedly, for the people of the West seem to have accepted Charles Lamb's humorous quibble in good faith. If they begin work later than any other civilized people, they assuredly leave off earlier. But until evening sets in there is a torrent of customers pouring in over the way, and wooing the eye from the contemplation of the Shannon at ...
— Disturbed Ireland - Being the Letters Written During the Winter of 1880-81. • Bernard H. Becker

... 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 arrangement, we women, ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... time to quibble over church discipline? If you believed in her you would save her ...
— Crucial Instances • Edith Wharton

... 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 ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... 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

... he, "I have been thinking over your arguments, and I capitulate. If Hamlet ever existed, he was as mad as a March hare." And he blushed at this his first quibble. ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... want it, I will take it back": and he accepted it with bows and smiles, and allowed the weary priests to continue their intonings. But Bobadilla is the one place in southern Spain where money is never jingled upon marble. There is no time between trains to quibble over minor matters; and a "Sevillan dollar" accepted from one passenger is blithely handed to another who is traveling in the opposite direction. I discovered this fact on the occasion of my first visit to this interesting junction; and ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... this great task of "waging neutrality," and it will be told in its proper place. But already it is apparent to what extent these two men served the great cause of English-speaking civilization. Neither would quibble or uphold an argument which he thought unjust, even though his nation might gain in a material sense, and neither would pitch the discussion in any other key than forbearance and mutual accommodation and courtliness. For both men had the same end in view. They were both thinking, not ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... returned to the Chicago City Council. Once is enough. There are too many others behind them waiting to get their noses in the trough. Go into your respective wards and districts and organize meetings. Call your particular alderman before you. Don't let him evade you or quibble or stand on his rights as a private citizen or a public officer. Threaten—don't cajole. Soft or kind words won't go with that type of man. Threaten, and when you have managed to extract a promise be on hand ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... see it! But, you fool, you seemed to go out of your way. You insulted him about the merest quibble—in ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Various

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

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

... 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 ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... 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

... 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 when I would not be a candidate, it would have been widely accepted ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... certain that a quibble, and a carwhichit, for a play or a sermon, will not banish ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... person who was either very clever or very foolish (I have never quite determined which) claimed to have solved it in only one straight line, because, as she said, "I have taken care to make all the others crooked!" Who could have anticipated such a quibble? ...
— The Canterbury Puzzles - And Other Curious Problems • Henry Ernest Dudeney

... 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 ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... of the diplomatic corps was increased on the following day, the 25th, by the language addressed to it at the Wilhelmstrasse. Herren von Jagow and Zimmermann said that they had not known beforehand the contents of the Austrian Note. This was a mere quibble: they had not known its actual wording, I grant, but they had certainly been apprised of its tenor. They hastened to add, by the way, that the Imperial Government approved of its ally's conduct, ...
— World's War Events, Vol. I • Various

... at it. 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 ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... evaded the stamp act, by calling themselves pamphlets and not newspapers, because they only commented upon the news of the day, to be henceforth liable to the stamp duties. This really did good service to the better class of journals, by sweeping away a swarm of newspapers which, by the quibble above mentioned, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... 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 beef, and oceans of brewis, as large as Highland hills and lochs; but you shall see better ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... confining to themselves the knowledge of the foundation of all men's lives and properties, they have reduced all mankind into the most abject and servile dependence. We are tenants at the will of these gentlemen for everything; and a metaphysical quibble is to decide whether the greatest villain breathing shall meet his deserts, or escape with impunity, or whether the best man in the society shall not be reduced to the lowest and most despicable condition it affords. In ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... saying, "I am not master of language; I have 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 use ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... happy man, the 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

... 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 ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... subject nations, and of giving up an innocent man to death, in order to save himself trouble and to conciliate a howling mob. No washing of his hands will cleanse them. 'All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten that hand. But his words let us see how a man may sophisticate his conscience and quibble about his guilt. ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... "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 justice ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... dead five weeks, but the Cavaliers concealed his death. (Remember this!) That Sir John Urrey[332] is dead and buried at Oxford. (He died the same day with the Lord Wilmot.) That the Cavaliers, before they have done, will HURREY all men into misery. (This quibble hath been six times printed, and nobody would take notice of it; now let's hear of it no more!) That all the Cavaliers which Sir William Waller took prisoners (besides 500) tooke the National Covenant. ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... 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, hours or days, and is the occasional ...
— Utilitarianism • John Stuart Mill

... wayward, 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 ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... 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 ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... children, even for him who died in his sins. Thou mayest have long to wait for him—but he will be found. It may be, thou thyself wilt one day be sent to seek him and find him. Rest thy hope on no excuse thy love would make for him, neither upon any quibble theological or sacerdotal; hope on in him who created him, and who loves him more than thou. God will excuse him better than thou, and his uncovenanted mercy is larger than that of his ministers. Shall not the Father do his best to ...
— Hope of the Gospel • George MacDonald

... anything to us, in so far as it brings, in Nonconformist cant, "a message," it is immoral and vicious, just as in so far as "Siegfried" carries a message it is entirely moral, healthful, and sane. It is useless to quibble about this, seeking to explain away plain things: the truth remains that "Siegfried" is a glorification of one view of life, "Parsifal" of its direct opposite and flat contradiction; and anyone who accepts the one view must needs loathe the other as sinful. To me the "Siegfried" ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... Cosimo, and he smiled again, reassured completely by now, convinced that here was no more than a minor quibble of the law. ...
— The Strolling Saint • Raphael Sabatini

... himself to the evolutionary philosophy of the nineteenth century, and is ready to defend the idea of a Fall of Man. His contribution to theology is a quibble. The old dogmas are to stand: only the language is to be adjusted to the modern intelligence. You may picture him with drawn sword—a sword tempered in inquisitorial fires—standing guard over his quibble and ready to defend it with his ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... palpable absurdity. To claim for it the verbal accuracy and the legal wariness of a mere contract is equally at war with common sense and the facts of the case; and even were it not so, the party to a bond who should attempt to escape its ethical obligation by a legal quibble of construction would be put in coventry by all honest men. In point of fact, the Constitution was simply the minutes of an agreement among certain gentlemen, to define the limits within which they would accept trust funds, and the objects ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... much better to take your chances with even an inferior melody maker who is as much interested as you are in a final success. And when you have found a composer, do not quibble about changing your words to fit his music. And don't fear to ask him to change his melody, wherever constant work on the song proves that a change is necessary. It is only by ceaselessly working over both words and melody that a song is turned ...
— Writing for Vaudeville • Brett Page

... day. It flashed across even his obscene mentality that he might 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 ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... report of Drake's incredible captures; for their own merchant fleet was just then off for Spain. They waited on the Council, who soothed them with the assurance that Drake's voyage was a purely private venture so far as prizes were concerned. With this diplomatic quibble they were ...
— Elizabethan Sea Dogs • William Wood

... "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 tell ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... protract, extend. Lessen, decrease, diminish, reduce, abate, curtail, moderate, mitigate, palliate. Lie (noun), untruth, falsehood, falsity, fiction, fabrication, mendacity, canard, fib, story. Lie (verb), prevaricate, falsify, equivocate, quibble, shuffle, dodge, fence, fib. Likeness, resemblance, similitude, similarity, semblance, analogy. Limp, flaccid, flabby, flimsy. List, roll, catalogue, register, roster, schedule, inventory. Loud, resonant, clarion, stentorian, sonorous. Low, base, abject, servile, slavish, menial. ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... armed rebels in Eibar (Guipuzcoa), 210 betook themselves to San Sebastian, when they suspected the approach of the Royal forces, and the 800 remaining gave up to General Lizarraga their rifles, all of the Remington system." There is no quibble about the latter statement. The Carlists had easier ways of procuring arms than by running cargoes from England. But is there not something inimitable in the epithet "rebels"? There can be no question ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... and applied its enginery to those very parts of our citadel which we would be most likely to defend the longest. Had it contented itself with the mere discussion of minor points, with here and there a quibble about a miracle or a prophecy, we could excuse many of its vagaries on the score of enthusiasm. But its premiss was, "We will accept nothing between the two lids of this Book if our Reason cannot fathom it." Hence, all truth, ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... Lentulus, getting thoroughly angry. "Can't you speak, except to lie and quibble before my face? Have you joined the gang Curio is rallying ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... obeyed, and 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 ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... 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 highest fundamental principles, as you say, how ought ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... if I guess it? Why do you quibble now? Give me your Word, or I'll never let you alone ...
— Colloquies of Erasmus, Volume I. • Erasmus

... not lodged by the Constitution in Congress, but in the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, as shown by the concurrence of two-thirds of that body." Ibid. 4470-4471. The veto would seem to have been based on a quibble. ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... immediate application it is a small thing. People privileged to receive Punch's Almanack through the post will not quibble over a half-penny. But it is evident that a system which embodies an arrangement that needs only to be stated to have its ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, December 19, 1891 • Various

... stranga. Quell trankviligi. Quench (extinguish) estingi. Quench (thirst) kvietigi. Querulous malkontenta. Query demando. Query cxu? Quest sercxo. Quest informigxo. Question demando. Question demandi. Question (doubt) dubi. Questionable duba. Quibble cxikani. Quick (adj.) rapida. Quick (adv.) rapide. Quick (living) viva. Quicken vivigi. Quicken rapidigi. Quicksilver hidrargo. Quiescence ripozo, kvieteco. Quiet kvieta. Quiet kvietigi. Quietude trankvileco. Quill plumo. Quilt litkovrilo. Quintal centfunto. Quip ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

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

... succeeded in having the proprietary lands taxed equally with the lands of the colonists. But the proprietors attempted to construe this provision so that their best lands were taxed at the rate paid by the people on their worst. This obvious quibble of course raised such a storm of opposition that the Quakers, joined by classes which had never before supported them, and now forming a large majority, determined to appeal to the Government in England to abolish the proprietorship and put ...
— The Quaker Colonies - A Chronicle of the Proprietors of the Delaware, Volume 8 - in The Chronicles Of America Series • Sydney G. Fisher

... flag! They insulted us in their despatches! They quibble! They're the perfidious Browns!" cried big Eugene Aronson, speaking the lesson taught him by the newspapers, which had ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... agreed never to attempt an explanation of this word proximate, but to use it on both sides without saying what it means?’ And to this the Jacobin assented. I saw at once into their plot, and rising to quit them, I said, ‘Of a truth, my fathers, this is nothing, I fear, but a quibble; and whatever may come of your meetings, I venture to predict that when the censure is passed, peace will not be restored. . . Surely it is unworthy, both of the Sorbonne and of theology, to make ...
— Pascal • John Tulloch

... would persuade you only that banter, pun, and quibble are the properties of light men and shallow capacities; that genuine humour and true wit require a sound and capacious mind, which is always a grave one. Contemptuousness is not incompatible with them: worthless is that man who feels ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... to establish, it is worth maintaining at any cost; and it is daily becoming more apparent, that the people, so soon as they find that secession means anything serious, will not allow themselves to be juggled out of their rights, as members of one of the great powers of the earth, by a mere quibble of Constitutional interpretation. ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 40, February, 1861 • Various

... 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 ...
— Hamlet • William Shakespeare

... concern. Following Aristotle, most historians of philosophy have been metaphysicians; they have concerned themselves far less with what the ancient thinkers really knew than with what they thought. A chance using of a verbal quibble, an esoteric phrase, the expression of a vague mysticism—these would suffice to call forth reams of exposition. It has been the favorite pastime of historians to weave their own anachronistic theories upon the scanty woof ...
— A History of Science, Volume 1(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... exclaimed Matilde. "Do not use such phrases to me. They mean nothing. For some wretched quibble of your miserable conscience—as you still have the assumption to call it—you will ruin us in ...
— Taquisara • F. Marion Crawford

... themselves with sending shorthand writers to Norwich to report the case fully for the benefit of their circle of readers, whose appetite for a legal quibble ...
— The Shrieking Pit • Arthur J. Rees

... was 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 lay less with the justices than with ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... ape, or in a dog, and in a man. And the suggestion that we must stop at the exact point at which direct proof fails us; and refuse to believe that the similarity which extends so far stretches yet further, is no better than a quibble. Robinson Crusoe did not feel bound to conclude, from the single human footprint which he saw in the sand, that the maker of the impression ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... 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, he need not have recourse to a quibble to give his ...
— The Pirates Own Book • Charles Ellms

... asked six pounds for her, and he gave me six pounds." "Six flints you mean," said I; "no, no, the law is not quite so bad as that either; I know something about her, and am sure that she will never sanction such a quibble. At all events, I'll ride after the fellow." Thereupon turning the horse round, I put him to his very best trot; I rode nearly a mile without obtaining a glimpse of the fellow, and was becoming apprehensive that he had escaped me by turning ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... had hoped for a vigorous denial on Thorpe's part, but this halfway confession seemed to him a mere quibble. He found himself believing the man guilty and that he was using this hypnotism suggestion as a last resort ...
— The Come Back • Carolyn Wells

... consider the truth which has made already so much stir in the Schools since St. Augustine declared it, that evil is a privation of being, whereas the action of God tends to the positive. This answer is accounted a quibble, and even something chimerical in the minds of many people. But here is an instance somewhat similar, which will ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... answered Lancelot, 'I am too old for that worn-out quibble. The root of all my sins has been selfishness and sloth. Am I to cure them by becoming still more selfish and slothful? What part of myself can I reform except my actions? and the very sin of my actions has been, as I take it, that I've been doing ...
— Yeast: A Problem • Charles Kingsley

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

... of views between the Austrian and Russian Governments'.[76] But, if it was not the principle that was objected to, but only the form, where are we? We can do nothing else but assume that the German Government objected to the terms employed by Sir Edward Grey, and that for the sake of a mere quibble they wasted time until other events made the catastrophe inevitable. Impartiality will have to judge whether such action was deliberate or not; whether in this case also it is crime or folly which has to be laid at the door ...
— Why We Are At War (2nd Edition, revised) • Members of the Oxford Faculty of Modern History

... expressly declared wish. It was to be solemnised at a church near Knightsbridge, and again at a Catholic chapel in the neighbourhood of Sloane-street; by which double ceremonial a knot would be tied that no legal quibble could hereafter loosen. Charlotte was just sufficiently recovered to obtain permission to be present at the ceremonial, after some little exercise of her persuasive powers with the medical practitioner ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... 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 ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... besides three bottles of brandy. My baron-bailie and doer, Mr. Duncan Macwheeble, is the fourth on our list. There is a question, owing to the incertitude of ancient orthography, whether he belongs to the clan of Wheedle or of Quibble, but both have produced persons eminent ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... decision of universities whether or not he could be legally divorced from Catharine, since the Pope—true to the traditions of the Catholic Church, or from fear of Charles V.—would not grant a dispensation. All this business was a miserable quibble, a tissue of scholastic technicalities. But it answered the ends of Cranmer. The schools decided for the King, and a great injustice and heartless cruelty was done to a worthy and loyal woman, and a great insult offered to the Church and to the Emperor Charles of Germany, who was ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VI • John Lord

... and met him at the gate. Her hands were pressed upon her bosom and her wild eyes sought his in alarm, for she knew now that something had happened, that something was wrong, although the mental picture of Crabbe lying dead or dying did not occur to her. She figured instead, some quibble, some legal matter, a money strait, a delay, but the doctor, quietly taking one of her hands in his, spoke as tenderly as was possible for a man of ...
— Ringfield - A Novel • Susie Frances Harrison

... you would be sorry to see her. She tries to persuade herself that because her soul did not consent she was really not to blame. That is the thing that women are always saying, isn't it? They draw this distinction when it is too late, and use it as a quibble to gloss over their fault. Oh, I gave it her! I told her she should have thought of that in time, and died rather than yield. It was all very fine to talk of a minute of weakness—mere weakness ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... On this account 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 possible, to see ...
— The Clouds • Aristophanes

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

... Hegel's quibble with this word other exemplifies the same fallacy. All 'others,' as such, are according to him identical. That is, 'otherness,' which can only be predicated of a given thing A, secundum quid (as other than B, etc.), is predicated ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... whether her oath, never to "say a word" to Prince Dolor about himself, would be broken if she were to take a pencil and write what was to be told. A mere quibble—a mean, miserable quibble. But then she was a miserable woman, more to be ...
— The Little Lame Prince - And: The Invisible Prince; Prince Cherry; The Prince With The Nose - The Frog-Prince; Clever Alice • Miss Mulock—Pseudonym of Maria Dinah Craik

... a case actually happened, the theory would not hold," answered Bateman; "it would only be a gross quibble. You can in no case sign an Article in a sense which its words will not bear. But, fortunately, or rather providentially, this is not the case; we have merely to explain ambiguities, and harmonize discrepancies. ...
— Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert • John Henry Newman

... 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 with the United States Marshal in the doorway of a store ...
— A Sketch of the Causes, Operations and Results of the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856 • Stephen Palfrey Webb

... for 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 do you ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... Does the sun shine less often, have the flowers less fragrance, does sleep come less sweetly to you than to them? Nature has been very good, very generous to you, Viva. Be content with her gifts. What you lack is only a thing of man's invention—a quibble, a bauble, a Pharisee's phylactery. Look at the river-lilies that drift yonder—how white they are, how their leaves enclose and caress them, how the water buoys them up and plays with them! Well, are they not better off than the ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... "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 ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... whom was now 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 ...
— Bayard: The Good Knight Without Fear And Without Reproach • Christopher Hare

... 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 for ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... Blondet, "this seems 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 defined by the ...
— The Jealousies of a Country Town • Honore de Balzac

... 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

... 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 any ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... 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 ...
— Native Life in South Africa, Before and Since • Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje

... that day, and found no one who cared to quibble with him. From the captain, never jealous of his dignity, to the roly-poly sutler, there was a very outrush of facts. As they came, he received them with pitchfork sharpness, examined them and tossed them aside, which ...
— The Plow-Woman • Eleanor Gates

... "Don't quibble, Juve!... It is too deadly serious!... What do you really mean?... We know that de Naarboveck is Fantomas, but you swore to me that it is impossible to arrest Naarboveck. You still assert this: nevertheless, ...
— A Nest of Spies • Pierre Souvestre

... 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 thingsas are our Upper-Gallery Audience in a Play-house; 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 stood for Parliament-Men, we know already who would carry it. But though they make the greatest Appearance in the Field, ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... see 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 ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... 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 ...
— Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry • John Dryden

... 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 instances, and ...
— Marmaduke Merry - A Tale of Naval Adventures in Bygone Days • William H. G. Kingston

... 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 ...
— The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6 • Boswell

... 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 can assign ...
— Border, Breed Nor Birth • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... 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 ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... 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 ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... Seward to at once elevate the American question to a higher region, to represent it to Europe in its true, holy character, as a question of right, freedom, and humanity. Then it will be impossible for England to quibble about technicalities of the international laws; then we can beat England with her own arms and words, as England in 1824, &c., recognized the Greeks as belligerents, on the plea of aiding freedom and humanity. The Southern insurrection is a movement similar ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... Plummer himself, the chief, the brains of all this long-secret band of marauders. He was surprised with his coat and arms off, and taken prisoner. A few moments later, he was facing a scaffold, where, as sheriff, he had lately hung a man. The law had no delays. No court could quibble here. Not all Plummer's wealth could save him now, nor all his intellect ...
— The Story of the Outlaw - A Study of the Western Desperado • Emerson Hough

... Darwin's survival of the fittest. All this is now "too late to mend:" but I do hope that if ever I go to Engelfield Castle, Sir Richard will be kindly and genial to his far-off cousin, who (but for some legal quibble unknown) might ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... "That's a 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 ...
— The Blue Germ • Martin Swayne

... as a "raft" was my first legal quibble. The question to be decided by the court was, What is a raft? just as the supreme tribunal of the land has been required, in later years, to decide, What is whiskey? The thing to be concealed if possible ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... and his colleagues refused to agree to this formula. They took the ground that they, as the representatives merely of the Continental Congress, had not the right to bind the individual states in such a matter. The argument was a quibble. Their real reason was that they were well aware that public opinion in America would not support them in such a concession. A few enlightened men in America, such as John Adams, favoured a policy of compensation ...
— The United Empire Loyalists - A Chronicle of the Great Migration - Volume 13 (of 32) in the series Chronicles of Canada • W. Stewart Wallace

... you mean, horrid girl, don't dare to quibble! You are going nowhere, and you know it. Nobody has invited you for Christmas Day; that's why you were crying just now—because you had nowhere to go. And you would have gone away this morning, and said nothing, and sat alone in your ...
— The Independence of Claire • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... not here attempt to juggle with the quibble of 'Revolution or Evolution,'—or to meet the contention of some of those under consideration that it is not Revolution that is wanted. 'You cannot change the world and yet not change the world.' Revolution is the means of, not the alternative to, Evolution. ...
— Socialism As It Is - A Survey of The World-Wide Revolutionary Movement • William English Walling

... to be faced at the outset: What effect had secession had upon the States guilty of it; was it or was it not an act of state suicide? This question was warmly debated in Congress and out. Although ridiculed in some quarters as a mere metaphysical quibble, it lay at the bottom of men's political thinking on reconstruction, and their views of the proper answer to it powerfully ...
— History of the United States, Volume 4 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... claim 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 felt himself insulted ...
— The Victim - A romance of the Real Jefferson Davis • Thomas Dixon

... "A quibble," murmured Heron, with the faintest possible smile. "However—I'm not sorry to have you here. You'll stay now, ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... "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

... 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 ...
— Masters of the Guild • L. Lamprey

... Jerome's possession within ten years from date, and be given away by him within one month's time after his acquisition of the same. Lawyer Means, without objection, filed carefully all Basset's precautionary conditions; then he proceeded to make it clearly evident, with no danger of quibble, that "in case the said Jerome Edwards should comply with all the said conditions, the said Doctor Seth Prescott and Simon Basset, Esquire, of Upham Corners, do covenant and engage by these presents to remise, release, ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman



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



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