verb, intransitive. To make petty or unnecessary objections. Also a noun, meaning an objection of this kind.
Josh tore his eyes away from the sunlit view out the conference-room window. Looking at it would do nothing but distract him more than he already was. The weather had been ideal when he arrived at the office forty minutes ago. He could almost feel the breeze now, here, as his supervisor droned his way through his report. Josh would rather have been outside, his legs pumping as his bike began to mount a hill, anticipating the elated feeling he would have when he reached the summit, slicked with sweat, air searing his windpipe as he made that final effort.
But for now, no. Better not to think of that, if he could manage it. He turned not only his head, but his upper body away from the window and tried to focus on the people around the table. Carol had raised a question about a statement Drew--Josh's supervisor--had made in his report. As Josh listened, he realized that, even though Drew's description of the facts had been accurate, Carol was complaining about his wording. What a waste of time! What difference did it make, when everyone knew what Drew had meant? Again, Josh wondered why he had been called to this meeting. He knew he had better things to do than listen to two lower-management types cavil about adjectives.
He kept his eyes away from the view and listened, however. It wouldn't do to be caught daydreaming about cycling when they finally got around to telling him why he was here. He needed this job, no matter how much he disliked it.
Definitions adapted from The New Oxford American Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Inc., 2005 (eBook Edition, copyright 2008), and from Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Company, Publishers, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, 1965, depending on which is more convenient to hand.