pettifog

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation from pettifogger.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

pettifog (third-person singular simple present pettifogs, present participle pettifogging, simple past and past participle pettifogged)

  1. To quibble over trivial matters; nitpick
    Don't pettifog or we will soon grow weary.
  2. To do a petty business as a lawyer, or carry out law business in a petty or tricky way.
    • S. Butler
      He is a common barreter for his pleasure, that takes no money, but pettifogs gratis.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]