Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

piffling

[pif-ling] /ˈpɪf lɪŋ/
adjective
1.
of little worth; trifling; piddling:
piffling efforts.
Origin of piffling
1890-1895
1890-95; piffle + -ing2

piffle

[pif-uh l] /ˈpɪf əl/ Informal.
noun
1.
nonsense, as trivial or senseless talk.
verb (used without object), piffled, piffling.
2.
to talk nonsense.
Origin
1840-50; perhaps akin to puff
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for piffling
Historical Examples
  • I'm merely telling you what will happen if father accepts that piffling baronetcy.

    The Title Arnold Bennett
  • Maybe it's only a piffling pocket, and we'll get souped for our pains.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • He might as well have sat by his fire and read a piffling novel.

    Black Oxen Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • piffling business, I call it, this interfering with private correspondence.

    A Rock in the Baltic Robert Barr
  • Why don't you cut out all this piffling holy talk and go in for something you can do?

    The Preacher of Cedar Mountain Ernest Thompson Seton
  • Second, I asked myself: What reason has she for pretending to be that piffling lunatic?

    The Title Arnold Bennett
  • He went over to Santa Fe to see the governor–a piffling carpet-bagger.

    The Coming of the Law Charles Alden Seltzer
  • Well; first, I knew my daughter couldn't be the piffling lunatic who does your war cookery articles.

    The Title Arnold Bennett
  • This was no piffling little Gizeh pyramid, no simple tomb for a king.

    The Sky Is Falling Lester del Rey
  • "I don't think we ought to ask a great and busy lawyer to accommodate himself to our piffling social plans," replied Mrs. Joyce.

British Dictionary definitions for piffling

piffling

/ˈpɪflɪŋ/
adjective
1.
worthless, trivial

piffle

/ˈpɪfəl/
noun
1.
nonsense: to talk piffle
verb
2.
(intransitive) to talk or behave feebly
Word Origin
C19: origin uncertain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for piffling

piffle

v.

1847, of unknown origin, perhaps an alteration of trifle, by influence of piddle, etc. Or perhaps imitative of a puff of air, with a diminutive suffix. As a noun by 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for piffling

piffle

interjection

A mild exclamation of disbelief, contradiction, rejection, etc (1914+)

noun

Nonsense; baloney, bunk: the kind of piffle actors have to go up against (1890+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for piffling

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for piffling

17
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for piffling