Meaning of pettifog in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpɛtɪfɒɡ/

verbverb pettifogs, verb pettifogging, verb pettifogged

[no object]
  • 1 archaic Quibble about petty points.

    • ‘they pettifogged on detail and fretted about moral hazard’
    minor criticism, trivial objection, trivial complaint, adverse comment, protest, query, argument, exception, moan, grumble, grouse, cavil
    find fault with, raise trivial objections to, complain about, object to, cavil at, carp about
    1. 1.1Practise legal deception or trickery.
      ‘he will rather pettifog and turn common barrator than be out of employment’
      • ‘He probably thought the auditors were pettifogging about practices ‘everyone does’ and that different auditors wouldn't be so picky.’
      • ‘They have obfuscated, delayed, lied, backtracked, pettifogged, and cancelled all sorts of commitments under the informal and formal rubrics of the Oslo process.’


Early 17th century back-formation from pettifogger.