AskDefine | Define carping

Dictionary Definition

carping adj : quibbling over insignificant details; "caviling pettifoggers and quiggling pleaders"-Edmund Burke; "her nagging and carping attack"; "thought her editor unnecessarily nitpicking"; "a pettifogging lawyer's mind"; "had no patience with quibbling critics" [syn: caviling, nitpicking, pettifogging, quibbling] n : persistent petty and unjustified criticism [syn: faultfinding]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. present participle of carp


  1. Pertaining to excessive complaining.
    1847 ''Having thus acknowledged what I owe those who have aided and approved me, I turn to another class; a small one, so far as I know, but not, therefore, to be overlooked. I mean the timorous or carping few who doubt the tendency of such books as "Jane Eyre:" in whose eyes whatever is unusual is wrong; whose ears detect in each protest against bigotry -- that parent of crime -- an insult to piety, that regent of God on earth. I would suggest to such doubters certain obvious distinctions; I would remind them of certain simple truths. — Charlotte Bronte, Preface to 2nd London edition of Jane Eyre.
    2005 Written as a ripost to Samuel Constant’s short story "Le Mari sentimental", in which the husband is driven to despair and ultimately suicide by his carping wife, Mistress Henly begins with an account of the wife’s reading of the Constant story and how as a reader she links the text of imagination to the realities of her own life.Title:Through The Reading Glass ISBN 0791464210 Publisher:SUNY Press. Author Suellen Diaconoff. Publication Date: Apr 7, 2005 Page:110


  1. Excessive complaining.
    1911 "Oh, stop your carping, Dawn!" I told myself. "You can't expect charming tones, and Oriental do-dads and apple trees in a German boarding-house. — Edna Ferber, Dawn O'Hara, the Girl who Laughed'', Chapter 6

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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