[ trahy-fuhl ]
See synonyms for: trifletrifledtriflestrifling on

  1. an article or thing of very little value.

  2. a matter, affair, or circumstance of trivial importance or significance.

  1. a small, inconsiderable, or trifling sum of money.

  2. a small quantity or amount of anything; a little: She's still a trifle angry.

  3. a literary, musical, or artistic work of a light or trivial character having no great or lasting merit; bagatelle.

  4. a kind of pewter of medium hardness.

  5. trifles, articles made of this.

  6. 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.

  1. to act or talk in an idle or frivolous way.

  2. 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).

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

Other words for trifle

Other words from trifle

  • trifler, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use trifle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for trifle


/ (ˈtraɪfəl) /

  1. a thing of little or no value or significance

  2. a small amount; bit: a trifle more enthusiasm

  1. 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

  2. a type of pewter of medium hardness

  3. articles made from this pewter

  1. (intr usually foll by with) to deal (with) as if worthless; dally: to trifle with a person's affections

  2. to waste (time) frivolously

Origin of trifle

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

Derived forms of trifle

  • trifler, noun

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