View synonyms for trifle


[ trahy-fuhl ]


  1. an article or thing of very little value.

    Synonyms: toy, bauble

  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 Cooking. a dessert usually consisting of custard and cake soaked in wine or liqueur, and jam, fruit, or the like.

verb (used without object)

, tri·fled, tri·fling.
  1. to deal lightly or without due seriousness or respect:

    Don't trifle with me!

  2. to play or toy by handling or fingering:

    He sat trifling with a pen.

  3. to act or talk in an idle or frivolous way.
  4. to pass time idly or frivolously; waste time; idle.

verb (used with object)

, tri·fled, tri·fling.
  1. to pass or spend (time) idly or frivolously (usually followed by away ).

    Synonyms: fritter


/ ˈtraɪfəl /


  1. a thing of little or no value or significance
  2. a small amount; bit

    a trifle more enthusiasm

  3. 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


  1. intrusually foll bywith to deal (with) as if worthless; dally

    to trifle with a person's affections

  2. to waste (time) frivolously

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Derived Forms

  • ˈtrifler, noun

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Other Words From

  • trifler noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of trifle1

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of trifle1

C13: from Old French trufle mockery, from trufler to cheat

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Example Sentences

See Cranberry and Custard Trifle, below, and Caramelized Blood Orange Tipsy Trifle for inspiration.

Once you get past that, if you get past it, Stories do start to feel like what they’re intended to be–a well-made tech trifle.

I know how to make her cassata cake and trifle, but the artichokes seemed so simple I never really dug in deep on this one.

If you read the obituaries of Richard Nixon, you would have thought Watergate a mere trifle.

He also has hit clutch shots down the stretch (never mind that little trifle I wrote about pressure).

This list will also likely include petit fours, mini éclairs, trifle, and chocolate and lemon mousse.

It should be soft and light enough to spread easily over the top of the trifle in a not-too-thick layer.

His nose was hooked and rather large, his eyes were blue, bright as steel, and set a trifle wide.

The tiny frown reappeared between her eyes, lingered a trifle longer than before, and vanished.

The lady in black, creeping behind them, looked a trifle paler and more jaded than usual.

Everywhere cattle were being sold for a trifle, as there was no grass upon which they could feed.

Edna was a trifle embarrassed at being thus signaled out for the imperious little woman's favor.





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