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trifle

[trahy-fuh l] /ˈtraɪ fəl/
noun
1.
an article or thing of very little value.
2.
a matter, affair, or circumstance of trivial importance or significance.
3.
a small, inconsiderable, or trifling sum of money.
4.
a small quantity or amount of anything; a little:
She's still a trifle angry.
5.
a literary, musical, or artistic work of a light or trivial character having no great or lasting merit; bagatelle.
6.
a kind of pewter of medium hardness.
7.
trifles, articles made of this.
8.
English Cookery. a dessert usually consisting of custard and cake soaked in wine or liqueur, and jam, fruit, or the like.
verb (used without object), trifled, trifling.
9.
to deal lightly or without due seriousness or respect:
Don't trifle with me!
10.
to play or toy by handling or fingering:
He sat trifling with a pen.
11.
to act or talk in an idle or frivolous way.
12.
to pass time idly or frivolously; waste time; idle.
verb (used with object), trifled, trifling.
13.
to pass or spend (time) idly or frivolously (usually followed by away).
Origin of trifle
1175-1225
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English tru(f)fle idle talk, deceit < Old French, variant of truf(f)e mockery, deceit; (v.) Middle English treoflen to mock < Old French trufler to make sport of
Related forms
trifler, noun
Synonyms
1. bauble, toy. 13. fritter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trifler
Historical Examples
  • He cannot afford to be a trifler or a loiterer on the way, but must push on continually.

    A Book for All Readers Ainsworth Rand Spofford
  • As long as you are no trifler you will be welcome at my wagon.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • What was to be done in Ireland was not work for a trifler or a dupe.

  • Last night, and most of the time to-day, you were the trifler, the incorrigible jester.

    A Pessimist Robert Timsol
  • “I know at least four sorts of kisses,” reflected the Mexican trifler.

    Red Men and White Owen Wister
  • He is a moth singed, that is all—the trifler with women thought he was a wasp.

    The Gilded Age, Complete Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner
  • Oh, Mr. Westrip, I wish you'd try to find the last number of the trifler.

    The Big Drum Arthur Pinero
  • And now—— The mate of the eagle was a trifler with peacocks and vultures.

    The Kingdom Round the Corner Coningsby Dawson
  • I'm a trifler, a dilettante, and an amateur of the right and the good as I used to be when I was young.

    The March Family Trilogy, Complete William Dean Howells
  • But Percy was not entirely a trifler, as a few weeks after proved.

    The Blue and The Gray A. R. White
British Dictionary definitions for trifler

trifle

/ˈtraɪfəl/
noun
1.
a thing of little or no value or significance
2.
a small amount; bit: a trifle more enthusiasm
3.
(Brit) a cold dessert made with sponge cake spread with jam or fruit, soaked in wine or sherry, covered with a custard sauce and cream, and decorated
4.
a type of pewter of medium hardness
5.
articles made from this pewter
verb
6.
(intransitive) usually foll by with. to deal (with) as if worthless; dally: to trifle with a person's affections
7.
to waste (time) frivolously
Derived Forms
trifler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French trufle mockery, from trufler to cheat
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
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Word Origin and History for trifler

trifle

n.

early 13c., trufle "false or idle tale," later "matter of little importance" (late 13c.), from Old French trufle "mockery," diminutive of truffe "deception," of uncertain origin.

trifle

v.

"treat lightly," 1520s, from trifle (n.). Related: Trifled; trifling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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