AskDefine | Define pettifogger

Dictionary Definition



1 a person (especially a lawyer or politician) who uses unscrupulous or unethical methods [syn: shyster]
2 a disputant who quibbles; someone who raises annoying petty objections [syn: quibbler, caviller, caviler]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • italbrac RP /ˈpɛtɪˌfɒgə/
  • italbrac US /ˈpɛtɪˌfɑːgɚ/ or /ˈpɛtɪˌfɔːgɚ/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒgə(r)


  1. Someone who quibbles over trivia, and raises petty, annoying objections.
  2. An unscrupulous or unethical lawyer, especially one of lesser skill.

Related terms


Someone who quibbles
An unscrupulous lawyer

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Philadelphia lawyer, ambulance chaser, belittler, bunco artist, bunco steerer, captious critic, cardsharp, cardsharper, carper, carpetbagger, caviler, censor, censurer, common scold, con artist, con man, confidence man, crimp, critic, criticizer, equivocator, faultfinder, frondeur, hairsplitter, hedger, horse coper, horse trader, jackleg, land pirate, land shark, land-grabber, momus, mortgage shark, mystificator, mystifier, nitpicker, obscurantist, palterer, picayune critic, pitchman, prevaricator, pussyfoot, pussyfooter, quibbler, scold, shark, sharp, sharper, sharpie, shortchanger, shuffler, shyster, slicker, smellfungus, spieler, tergiversator
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