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Crossword clues for cavil

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Although Chief Constables cavil occasionally they treat circulars as commands.
▪ However, my purpose here is not to cavil, nor to review the exhibition as a whole.
▪ No one could cavil with that, either then, or in historical retrospect.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

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.

  2. A stone mason's hammer. [Written also cavil.]

    Kevel head (Naut.), a projecting end of a timber, used as a kevel.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1540s, from Middle French caviller "to mock, jest," from Latin cavillari "to jeer, mock; satirize, argue scoffingly" (also source of Italian cavillare, Spanish cavilar), from cavilla "jest, jeering," related to calumnia (see calumny).


n. A petty or trivial objection or criticism. vb. (context intransitive English) To criticise for petty or frivolous reasons.

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

  2. v. raise trivial objections [syn: carp, chicane]

  3. [also: cavilling, cavilled]


Cavil may refer to:

  • John Cavil, a fictional character from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series
  • Kwame Cavil (born 1979), Canadian Football League wide receiver

Usage examples of "cavil".

By the time she was twenty-five she went to sleep most nights crying, so that Cavil could not bear to share the room with her.

They took meals together, Cavil sitting on a chair in her room, his food on a small side table, Dolores lying in bed as a Black woman carefully spooned food into her mouth while her hands sprawled on the bedsheets like dead crabs.

But the admiration of his neighbors was scant comfort when Cavil surveyed the ruins of his dreams.

But Cavil Planter was a godly, upright man, and whenever he had the faintest thought that God might have treated him badly, he stopped whatever he was doing and pulled the small psaltery from his pocket and whispered aloud the words of the wise man.

Only he was stronger and more dangerous than any overseer Cavil had ever seen.

But Cavil also knew that he would never dare to hire such a man, for this overseer was so strong that Cavil would soon forget who was man and who was master.

As Cavil had them brought to him by night, he tried to treat them with the strength and mastery he had seen in the face of the fearful Overseer.

If any other Black, man or woman, spoke in protest, the next day Cavil saw to it that the Overseer took it out of them in blood.

That was Emancipationist talk, and Cavil felt a sudden fear that he had invited the devil into his own house by bringing this Presbyterian preacher.

By nightfall, when they sat on the porch cooling off, Cavil began to think he had met the first man to whom he might tell some part of his great secret.

So Cavil told the whole story, for the first time ever, near seven years after it happened.

Brother Cavil, we shall not guess whose seed came unto ripeness, for the Lord gave us this field together, for this time.

Thrower and Roach was man and wife, an idea that made Cavil almost laugh right out.

When his plate was clean for the third time, he looked at Cavil and smiled.

Thrower suggested looking at the grave, or else Cavil probably never would have known what the Blacks did in the night.