American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To act like a pettifogger. See Synonyms at quibble.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To play the pettifogger; do small business as a lawyer.
- n. A confusing fog or mist: in allusion to pettifog, v.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To do a petty business as a lawyer; also, to do law business in a petty or tricky way.
- v. colloq. To advocate like a pettifogger; to argue trickily.
- v. argue over petty things
- Back-formation from pettifogger. (Wiktionary)
- Back-formation from pettifogger. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Yet Phil Woolas, the immigration minister (and, as I well remember a nasty little self-centred careerist when he was head of the National Union Students in my college days - a real horrible little greasy pole climber who obviously hasn't changed one jot) continues to prevaricate and pettifog.”
“Let the rest of the guttersnipes pettifog about celebrity doping.”
“BTW My lawschool study group met in a Brownstone actually red brick, but why pettifog on Warren St off Court, not far from your address.”
“Why do you pettifog about actions that would be indefensible in any other realm?”
“As a staunch conservative Whig he especially loathed President Polk aliberalDemocrot, but he also despised General ZacharyTaylor, another Democrat who acted as if he too hoped to be the next president. ffis ultimate scorn, however, was reserved for Gideon J. Pillow, a pettifog - ging lawyer from a small. town in Tennessee, who was so ineffectual that Clay could not understand why Scott even bothered with him.”
“The popular understanding of the word _criticize_ is to find fault, to pettifog.”
“But if it was and is the purpose of those for whom you pettifog to keep woman off the platform of that convention and deny her any part in its proceedings except as a spectator, what does all your talk about”
“But if it was and is the purpose of those for whom you pettifog to keep woman off the platform of that”
“It wouldn't do me any good to pettifog in this matter.”
“Verb to pettifog (third-person singular simple present pettifogs, present participle pettifogging, simple past and past participle pettifogged) 8500 was just a number I picked out of thin air.”
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