- An example of a captious comment is when someone tells a man that he does not know how to bar-b-que a good steak.
- An example of someone who is captious is a person who always points out the faults of her friend.
The definition of captious is a statement made for the purpose of creating an argument, or fond of finding the mistakes of others.
- made only for the sake of argument or faultfinding: captious criticism
- fond of catching others in mistakes; quick to find fault; quibbling; carping
Origin of captiousMiddle English capcious from Classical Latin captiosus from caption
- Marked by a disposition to find and point out trivial faults: a captious scholar.
- Intended to entrap or confuse, as in an argument: a captious question.
Origin of captiousMiddle English capcious from Old French captieux from Latin captiōsus from captiō seizure, sophism from captus past participle of capere to seize ; see kap- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more captious, superlative most captious)
- 1784, William Cowper, "A Review of Schools", in Poems, 1859 ed., page 219:
- A captious question, sir, and yours is one, / Deserves an answer similar, or none.
- 1815 March 24, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “To William Lisle Bowles”, in Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edition 2000 Oxford ed., ISBN 0198187459, page 558:
- Were you aware that in your discourse last Sunday you attributed the captious Problem of the Sadducees to the Pharisees, as a proof of the obscure and sensual doctrines of the latter?
- Having a disposition to find fault unreasonably or to raise petty objections; cavilling, nitpicky
Middle English capcious, from Middle French captieux, or its source, Latin captiōsus, from captiōnem.