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used in a sentence
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Definition tending to find and call attention to faults
  • The child is spoiled, captious, and insolent.
  • a captious and satirical nature
  • And when a film did take a compassionate approach to homosexuality, the mainstream press could pounce on it with cavalier ignorance and captious contempt.
    Richard Corliss  --  Time, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008  --,8599,1862492,00.html (retrieved 02/18/09)
  • I cannot afford to be irritable and captious, nor to waste all my time in attacks.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson  --  Essays, Second Series
  • — too cheerful in my views to be captious.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • We are not boy and girl, to be captiously irritable, misled by every moment's inadvertence, and wantonly playing with our own happiness."
    Jane Austen  --  Persuasion
  • "That canoe may not belong to the cutter," said the captious seaman.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pathfinder
  • For, say what you would, she was certainly acting very unfairly and captiously in all this.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • Chapter XVI: Why The National Vanity Of The Americans Is More Restless And Captious Than That Of The English.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 2
  • "I wish you'd learn to put the caps back on things properly when you're finished using them," she said in a tone she fully meant to sound captious.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • He grew by degrees less civil, put on more of the master, frequently found fault, was captious, and seem'd ready for an outbreaking.
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Please don't be captious with me.
    Anton Chekhov  --  Uncle Vanya
  • "A little too fond," said Mr. Featherstone, captiously.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • Georgiana, who had a spoiled temper, a very acrid spite, a captious and insolent carriage, was universally indulged.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • The honest old scholar suffered every abuse imaginable as a result of young Leo's intellectual obstinacy, captiousness, skepticism, contrariness, and cutting dialectical logic.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • She was dry, rough, peevish, sharp, captious, almost venomous; all this in memory of her monk, whose widow she was, and who had ruled over her masterfully and bent her to his will.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • "Now, my best of confidantes," said Richard, "I want my cousin Ada to understand that I am not captious, fickle, and wilful about John Jarndyce, but that I have this purpose and reason at my back.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • Those who remained yawned, talked, gossiped, consulted their tablets, and, all distinctions else forgotten, merged into but two classes—the winners, who were happy, and the losers, who were grum and captious.
    Lew Wallace  --  Ben Hur
  • There would have been the same inequality of lot, the same heaping up of favours here, of contumely there, the same generosity before justice, the same perpetual dilemmas, the same captious alteration of caresses and blows that we endure now.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • Then the old woman trudged out to get a girl for Hungry Joe, dipping her captious head sadly, and returned with two big-bosomed beauties, one already undressed and the other in only a transparent pink half slip that she wiggled out of while sitting down.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22

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