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 trifler

Historical Examples of trifler

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for trifler

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 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