from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Marked by a disposition to find and point out trivial faults: a captious scholar.
- adj. Intended to entrap or confuse, as in an argument: a captious question.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. That captures; especially, (of an argument, words etc.) designed to capture or entrap in misleading arguments; sophistical.
- adj. Having a disposition to find fault unreasonably or to raise petty objections; cavilling, nitpicky
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Apt to catch at faults; disposed to find fault or to cavil; eager to object; difficult to please.
- adj. Fitted to harass, perplex, or insnare; insidious; troublesome.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Apt to notice and make much of unimportant faults or defects; disposed to find fault or raise objections; prone to cavil; difficult to please; faultfinding; touchy: as, a captious man.
- Proceeding from a faultfinding or caviling disposition; fitted to harass or perplex; censorious; carping; hence, insidious; crafty: as, a captious question.
- Capable of receiving; capacious.
- Insnaring; captivating.
- Synonyms Captious, Carping, Caviling, faultfinding, hypercritical, crabbed, testy, pettish, splenetic, all express unamiable temper and behavior, with wrongheadedness. Captious expresses a disposition to catch at little or inoffensive things, and magnify them into great defects, affronts, etc. Carping is a strong word noting faultfinding that is both unreasonable and unceasing; it applies more to criticism on conduct, while caviling applies to objections to arguments, opinions, and the like: as, it is easier to cavil than to disprove. See petulant.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. tending to find and call attention to faults
'Well, my lord, I don't think I could be called captious for saying that the world has not gone over well with me.'
Those interchanges have ranged from the thoughtful interplay of ideas and differing points of view, to the captious arguments of those whose only apparent mission in life is to dismiss anything or anyone pointing a way forward.
The authorities were quietly allowing others to occupy similar parcels—chiefly dam worker families whom Young judged “quiet, good people” and whose occupancy “we have informally suffered ... in order not to be oppressive, unreasonable, or captious in our treatment of good citizens.”
While the three young people kept a conversation going, Varian wondered, as she set the sled on its baseward course, just what happened to occasion Dimenon's captious attitude.
Maybe it's the long, boring haul back from swine flu that's making me captious - see earlier post - but I am afraid that Sam Mendes is going to have get an e-kicking today.
And he wasn't sure about how a Marx Brothers movie could resolve existential anxiety so fully, but seemed too captious to mention.
But maybe that's because Greg Sargent's question is based on a captious and stingy premise.
You guys (in the comment thread) are hopelessly captious and stingy.
I find it outrageous to raise such captious discussions under the current circumstances.
Patrick was completely enamored of the new science of forensics, and kept his department absolutely up to date on all advances made in that captious discipline, with its blood types, serums, hairs, fibers, anything that a criminal might leave behind as a signature.