from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. futile; trifling

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Futile; trifling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Worthless; trifling.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Such have been the ringleaders of all heresies; and such were they who have turned the knowledge of the will of God proposed in the Scripture into a wrangling science, filled with niceties, subtilties, curiosities, futilous [vain] terms of art, and other fuel for the minds of fiery contenders in wrangling disputations.


  • And this humour hath filled us with needless and futilous observations; which, beyond an ostentation of the learning of their authors (indeed, the utmost end whereunto they are designed), are of no use nor consideration.


  • They are not filled with vain, impertinent jangling, nor with a noise of multiplied futilous distinctions, nor with novel and uncouth terms foreign to the things of


  • Yet will I not, therefore, make it my controversy with any, that faith is properly an instrument, or the instrumental cause in or of our justification; and so divert into an impertinent contest about the nature and kinds of instruments and instrumental causes, as they are metaphysically hunted with a confused cry of futilous terms and distinctions.

    The Doctrine of Justification by Faith

  • When men are once advanced into that field of disputation, which is all overgrown with thorns of subtleties, perplexed notions, and futilous terms of art, they consider principally how they may entangle others in it, scarce at all how they may get out of it themselves.

    The Doctrine of Justification by Faith

  • Such bold inquiries, with futilous answers annexed unto them, sufficiently manifest what acquaintance their authors have either with Christ himself, which in others they despise, or with his Gospel, which they pretend to embrace.


  • It is a most unworthy thing for men that have bones in them to spend their lives in making fiddle-cases for futilous women's fancies; which are the very pettitoes of infirmity, the giblets of perquisquilian toys ....

    Woman's Life in Colonial Days

  • The introduction of every change in philosophical learning gives an appearance of a change in the controversies which are managed thereby; but take off the covering of philosophical expressions, distinctions, metaphysical notions, and futilous terms of art, which some of the ancient schoolmen and later disputants have cast upon it, and the difference about grace and nature is amongst us all the same that it was of old, and as it is allowed by the Socinians.

    The Doctrine of Justification by Faith

  • The meaning and sum of my discourse he would have to be this, p. 308, “That Christ had not been bound to live like a man, had he not been a man,” with I know not what futilous cavils of the like nature; when all that I insisted on was the reason why Christ would be a man, and live like a man; which was, that we might receive the benefit and profit of his obedience, as he was our mediator.

    Of Communion with God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost

  • In the meantime I appeal unto every indifferent reader whether the mere perusal of this whole passage do not cast this man’s futilous cavils out of all consideration?

    Of Communion with God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost


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  • (Obsolete) Futile.

    September 11, 2008