It can be frustrating to know somebody who finds faults in everything. It’s especially problematic when you work really hard to try and impress them. This article will explore the best synonyms to describe these kinds of people should you ever feel the need to.
Which Words Can Describe A Person Who Finds Fault In Everything?
There are a few good words we can use to describe a person who finds fault in everything. Some of the best ones that we want to go over include:
The preferred version is “nitpicker.” It’s the simplest of the words in this list, and it’s a great way to refer to somebody who is more than happy to pick out faults and flaws in plans that are almost (seemingly) perfect. They are usually not very pleasant to be around.
We’ll start with the preferred version because it’s the best descriptive word. We can call someone a “nitpicker” whenever they try to find faults in the things we have done.
A nitpicker is somebody who finds faults in little details. Often, these details are unimportant, and that’s clear to everyone else involved. However, nitpickers will still focus on these details because they strive for perfection.
The definition of “nitpicker,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “someone who finds faults in details that are not important.”
Some people believe that being a nitpicker is a positive quality. It shows that they’re a perfectionist, and they’re not willing to stop working until 100% of someone’s effort is given to them.
However, many other people believe that nitpickers are unbearable. It can be difficult to handle them, especially when they never recognize your talent or hard work. When there’s no reward for your hard work, there’s almost no reason for it. It’s up to you which category you fall in.
You might see nitpickers appear in the following ways:
- I don’t mean to be a nitpicker, but I really can’t see myself publishing this piece until you fix the issues.
- You’re a nitpicker, sir. I wish you would just see the work as completed and move past it!
- Stop nitpicking and start being appreciative of all my hard work. I’m sick of all the complaints.
You might never have seen this word before, and it might look like a confusing one to try to pronounce. However, it works really well in this context, and we think it might be a great addition to your vocabulary pool.
If someone was going to anathematize you or your work, it means they will find fault in it. They will use these faults to criticize something about you or your work, making it difficult to hand anything into them without fear.
The definition of “anathematize,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to criticize someone or something strongly or say that he, she, or it is completely unacceptable.”
“Anathematize” is a verb and not technically a descriptive word. However, we can use it as a descriptive action to show how someone criticizes somebody to find fault in their work.
We could use the verb in the following ways:
- He anathematized my work. It was almost like it didn’t matter to him, and he wanted the whole thing back again.
- I knew it had some faults, but there weren’t many. That didn’t stop her from anathematizing it all, though.
- I anathematized my own essay because I saw tiny errors that would have caused my grade to plummet!
Someone who finds cavil in things isn’t ideal to be around. They will always try to diminish your hard work, and it would help to know how it works.
If someone is caviling, it means they are looking for minor details to complain about. Just like being a nitpicker, these details are irrelevant overall, and many people will simply ignore them. However, cavilers are always on the lookout for them.
The definition of “caviling,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to make unreasonable complaints, especially about things that are not important.”
Cavilers can be incredibly obnoxious. Even if you’ve spent a lot of time working on something, they will make sure you know about it if they manage to find a single fault.
This can be especially difficult if your boss is a caviler. While you’re trying to impress them, you might find that they’ve focused on a minor, overlooked detail, which no one else would have cared about.
You could use this word in the following ways:
- He’s caviling all the new starters. I think it’s his way of asserting his dominance.
- I found cavil in those things where no one else could. Maybe I pay too much attention!
- She finds cavil in her friends all the time. I think it’s really toxic, but they all still want to be around her.
If someone is disparaging you, it could be a sign of disrespect. While it isn’t the most relatable word on this list, it can still work in many situations with the right context.
Typically, someone who is disparaging you has no respect for the things you do. They will find ways to criticize you and find faults in the things you do. However, it usually only comes when they do not value you (which is usually obvious from the start).
The definition of “disparaging,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to criticize someone or something in a way that shows you do not respect or value him, her, or it.”
The other words on this list are mostly linked to someone’s personality. If someone is a perfectionist or believes that your work can be better, then they are within their right to be a nitpicker or a caviler.
However, if someone disparages you, it’s likely that they aren’t your biggest fan. They will look for faults where no faults need to be, and they will make sure they can find something just so they have an excuse to yell or moan at you.
You could use “disparaging” in the following ways:
- I don’t know if he meant to be disparaging, but it really hurt to read the feedback on my essay.
- He was so disparaging of the project that I left his office in a huff and quit my job the next day.
- You shouldn’t be so disparaging with the work your students give you. You don’t know how hard they tried to get it completed!
Finally, let’s check out “captious.” Captious people can be just as difficult as all the rest when handing in completed work. They’re always happy to find flaws where you might not look for them.
Captious people are similar to cavilers. They will express minor criticisms for irrelevant details. Often, these details are so small that many other people would never notice them. Captious people will often scout for these mistakes until they find them.
The definition of “captious,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “often expressing criticisms about matters that are not important.”
Being captious is another one of those traits that some people value while others don’t. Captious people believe themselves to be perfectionists, just like nitpickers or cavilers.
However, most people believe that captious people look for faults for the sake of looking for faults. It can be exhausting to deal with people like this because they will never fully appreciate your work, even when you’ve put a lot into it.
You might see “captious” works as follows:
- He is too captious to get along with. All the things he points out are tiny and irrelevant in the grand scheme!
- She’s a captious boss, but that’s why I like her! I’ve never had someone like her tell me what to do before.
- You’re too captious to be taken seriously. None of those issues matter, and it’s time for new management.
What Does It Mean To Find Fault In Everything?
Now that we’ve covered all the best synonyms, it’s time to look into the direct meaning quickly.
Someone who finds fault in everything is someone who will look for flaws. They will actively seek out problems to show that you are not perfect and that your creations are never good enough for them. While the faults might be minor, they can be very frustrating.
People who find faults in everything usually make life difficult. While they might think they’re helpful by showing you a few errors, they’re actually taking away from the overall workmanship of whatever you’ve done.
Let’s say you’ve worked hard to complete a work project before a deadline.
Now, let’s imagine that when you hand it in, your boss takes it and says he found three major flaws with it. From what you remember, there were no flaws, and you can’t believe it is true.
When you discuss it with him, you find out that these flaws are not “major” at all, but they’re “minor” details that are easy to overlook. It takes away from your achievement of completing the project, and it means that the boss will not appreciate your overall workpiece.
You may also like:
10 Words For Someone Who Complains About Everything
10 Best Words for Someone Who Finds Faults in Others
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.