from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to casuists or casuistry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Relating to casuistry (attempts to solve moral dilemmas by applying general rules).
  • adj. Overly subtle, hair-splitting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to casuists or casuistry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to casuists or casuistry; relating to cases of conscience, or to doubts concerning conduct; hence, over-subtle; intellectually dishonest; sophistical.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or relating to the use of ethical principles to resolve moral problems
  • adj. of or relating to or practicing casuistry


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

casuist +‎ -ic.


  • H.W. Fowler wrote about them incisively in his 1926 Dictionary of Modern English Usage, though most of the specific words he considered — such as casuistic and casuistical, diabolic and diabolical — don’t trouble us anymore.

    Word Court

  • One additional note, though -- please do not write me e-mails asking casuistic questions about whether or not it's okay to read something or other during Lent (I've gotten a few in the past).

    Archive 2010-02-01

  • Logical arguments have attacked war since the dawn of time, yet war has always had its casuistic defenders.

    David Vognar: Making Real Peace with the Spirit of John F. Kennedy

  • But this is all pretty casuistic: We move from case to case without direct consideration of what the objectionable features of adultery are.


  • At least Kant had the virtue of rigid consistency and did not make casuistic exceptions.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » It’s Official: Kinder, Gentler Military Commissions:

  • As to the last charge advanced by Draper, that Castro betrayed the original ideals of the Cuban revolution, the defense of Professor Williams is either weak or casuistic.

    The Great San Francisco Poetry Wars, 9

  • The idea that this is all a response to the post 9/11 policies, with all their corkscrew-like bends, is casuistic, to put it mildly.

    Who is to run our foreign policy?

  • Scott Hickman Arden, N.C. Jonathan Rauch's casuistic defense of same-sex marriage deserves attention because it is emblematic of the increasingly common belief that gay marriage pits reason and tolerance on the one hand, against irrational religiosity on the other, but this is logically flawed.

    Response to California Court's Gay Marriage Ruling

  • Nicely put, though not advice that many in academe are receptive to applying — while they often are receptive to giving it to others no matter the amount of intellectual coercion, of casuistic bile and guile, they need to leverage in the process.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » McCain’s Interesting Reading of the Constitution:

  • Duplicitous less, mendacious is a good one dissimlulating , casuistic can be used in the sense of sophistry.

    Ming Campbell Caught Telling Porkies


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