Word of the Day 

captious \KAP-shuss\  adjective1 : marked by an often ill-naturedinclination to stress faults and raiseobjections 2 : calculated to confuseentrap, or entangle in argument 

Befuddled by the captious question, the suspect broke down and confessed to the crime

During the past 15 years Mr. Maxwell has established himself as one of the few sui generis voices in experimental theater, and like all trulyoriginal talents, he has been subjectto varied and captiousinterpretations.” — Ben BrantleyNew York TimesOctober 24, 2012

Did you know?
If you suspect that captious is a relative of capture and captivate, you’re right. All of those words are related to the Latin verb caperewhich means “to take.” The directancestor of captious is captio, a Latinoffspring of caperewhich literallymeans “a taking” but which was alsoused to mean “a deception” or “a sophistic argument.” Argumentslabeled “captious” are likely to capture you in a figurative sensethey often entrap through subtlydeceptive reasoning or trifling points. A captious individual is one who you might also dub “hypercritical,” the sort of carpingcensorious critic onlytoo ready to point out minor faults or raise objections on trivial grounds.


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