pettifoggery

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

pettifogger +‎ -ery

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pettifoggery (plural pettifoggeries)

  1. The actions of a pettifogger; a trivial quarrel.
    He was capable of using lawyerly rhetoric, at times, to the brink of pettifoggery.
    • 2011, Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality, Knopf Doubleday (2011), p. 82
      Yet even Harlan was to prove capable of grievous pettifoggery on the racial issue.
    • 2011, Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality, Knopf Doubleday (2011), p. 601
      [Frankfurter's reasoning in Beauharnais v. Illinois] struck Black and the other three Roosevelt appointees who joined his dissent as noxious pettifoggery[.]
    • 2020 June 23, John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 317:
      The idea that a minor bureaucratic restructuring could have made any difference in the time of Trump reflected how immune bureaucratic pettifoggery is to reality.

Synonyms[edit]