From Middle English capcious, from Middle French captieux, or its source, Latin captiōsus, from captiō.
captious (comparative more captious, superlative most captious)
- (obsolete) That captures; especially, (of an argument, words etc.) designed to capture or entrap in misleading arguments; sophistical.
1605, William Shakespeare, All's Well that Ends Well, Act I, scene i, page 234:
- […] I know I loue in vaine, ſtriue againſt hope : / Yet in this captious, and intemible Siue / I ſtill poure in the waters of my loue / And lacke not to looſe ſtill […]
1786, William Cowper, “Tirocinium: Or, A Review of Schools”, in Poems, volume II, 2nd edition, London: J. Johnson, page 338:
- A captious queſtion, Sir, and your’s is one, / Deſerves an anſwer ſimilar, or none.
1815, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “To William Lisle Bowles”, in Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 2000 Oxford ed. edition, →ISBN, page 558:
- Were you aware that in your discourse last Sunday you attributed the captious Problem of the Sadducees to the Pharisees, as a proof of the obscure and sensual doctrines of the latter?
- Synonyms: tricky, thorny, sophistical
- Having a disposition to find fault unreasonably or to raise petty objections; cavilling, nitpicky.
- 1968, Sidney Monas, translating Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866):
- But Peter Petrovich did not accept this retort. On the contrary, he became all the more captious and irritable, as though he were just hitting his stride.
- 2009, Anne Karpf, The Guardian, 24 Jan 2009:
- The "Our Bold" column, nitpicking at errors in other periodicals, can look merely captious, and its critics often seem to be wildly and collectively wrong-headed.
- Synonyms: carping, critical, faultfinding, hypercritical, nitpicky
Terms related to captious
that captures misleadingly
- Arabic: please add this translation if you can
- Armenian: խճճող (xččoł)
- Bulgarian: придирчив (bg) (pridirčiv), заядлив (bg) (zajadliv), критичен (bg) (kritičen)
- Mandarin: 詭辯的, 诡辩的 (guǐbiàn de), 強詞奪理的, 强词夺理的 (qiǎngcíduólǐ de)
- Czech: please add this translation if you can
- Dutch: please add this translation if you can
- Finnish: harhaanjohtava (fi)
- French: please add this translation if you can
- German: please add this translation if you can
- Hindi: please add this translation if you can
- Italian: please add this translation if you can
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- Korean: please add this translation if you can
- Portuguese: capcioso (pt), ardiloso (pt), astucioso (pt)
- Russian: каверзный (ru) (kaverznyj), хи́трый (ru) (xítryj)
- Spanish: capcioso
- Vietnamese: please add this translation if you can
having a disposition to find fault unreasonably or to raise petty objections