- The definition of a cavil is a silly or petty objection.
An example of a cavil is little girl's rejection of a Barbie doll because of the color of the clothes.
- Cavil means to disapprove for minor reasons.
An example of cavil is a mother rejecting her son's date because she doesn't like her shoes.
cavil definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Old French caviller ; from Classical Latin cavillari ; from cavilla, jeering ; from an unverified form calvilla ; from calvari, to deceive; akin to calumnia, calumny
cavil definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb cav·iled also cav·illed, cav·il·ing also cav·il·ling, cav·ils also cav·ils verb, intransitive
Origin: French caviller, from Old French, from Latin cavillārī, to jeer, from cavilla, a jeering.
- cavˈil·er noun