The Closing Word: Cavil

The Closing Word: ContretempsThis week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (CAV-ill)

raise trivial objections

an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections

From “Cavil is not a word that comes up all that often. You can replace it with the more commonly used word quibble and still have the same meaning. If you cavil over a restaurant bill, you argue about the minute, unimportant details of who owes what —- like whether your portion of the bill is $10.00 or $10.50.”

“Never cavil during negotiations. Focus on the most important points and always look for win-wins.”


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