trifle

[trahy-fuhl]

noun

verb (used without object), tri·fled, tri·fling.

verb (used with object), tri·fled, tri·fling.

to pass or spend (time) idly or frivolously (usually followed by away).

Origin of trifle

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 formstri·fler, noun

Synonyms for trifle

1. bauble, toy. 13. fritter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trifle

Contemporary Examples of trifle

Historical Examples of trifle

  • They thought their own habits and customs just a trifle better than those of anybody else.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Grace's laugh sounded a trifle shaky, but it was a laugh nevertheless.

  • The next thing was to borrow a trifle of what was passing through his hands.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Any trifle will serve—a purse of gold, or even a jewelled goblet.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • She was a trifle subdued, with a puzzled look in her blue eyes.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart



British Dictionary definitions for trifle

trifle

noun

a thing of little or no value or significance
a small amount; bita trifle more enthusiasm
British 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
a type of pewter of medium hardness
articles made from this pewter

verb

(intr usually foll by with) to deal (with) as if worthless; dallyto trifle with a person's affections
to waste (time) frivolously
Derived Formstrifler, noun

Word Origin for trifle

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

Word Origin and History for 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.

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper