Casuistry is argumentation that is suspect and sneaky. Politicians, lawyers, and car salesmen who make dubious arguments full of holes are guilty of casuistry.

Save this word for when you want to put down somebody else’s line of reasoning: it refers to subtle but specious argumentation. It was formed from casuist (along the lines of sophistry and foolery), which can mean one who engages in such reasoning, though it originally meant someone who resolves doubtful cases by the application of principles. Casuistry is used to bamboozle people, so steer clear of those who practice it!

Definitions of casuistry
  1. noun

    argumentation that is specious or excessively subtle and intended to be misleading

    see moresee less

    type of:

    argument, argumentation, line, line of reasoning, logical argument

    a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning

  2. noun

    moral philosophy based on the application of general ethical principles to resolve moral dilemmas

    see moresee less



    a Roman Catholic system of casuistry that when expert opinions differ an actor can follow any solidly probable opinion that he wishes even though some different opinion might be more probable
    type of:

    ethics, moral philosophy

    the philosophical study of moral values and rules

Word Family