- of very little importance; trivial; insignificant: a trifling matter.
- of small value, cost, or amount: a trifling sum.
- frivolous; shallow; light: trifling conversation.
- mean; worthless.
- idle or frivolous conduct, talk, etc.
- foolish delay or waste of time.
Origin of trifling
SynonymsSee more synonyms for trifling on Thesaurus.com
- an article or thing of very little value.
- a matter, affair, or circumstance of trivial importance or significance.
- a small, inconsiderable, or trifling sum of money.
- a small quantity or amount of anything; a little: She's still a trifle angry.
- a literary, musical, or artistic work of a light or trivial character having no great or lasting merit; bagatelle.
- a kind of pewter of medium hardness.
- trifles, articles made of this.
- English Cookery. a dessert usually consisting of custard and cake soaked in wine or liqueur, and jam, fruit, or the like.
- to deal lightly or without due seriousness or respect: Don't trifle with me!
- to play or toy by handling or fingering: He sat trifling with a pen.
- to act or talk in an idle or frivolous way.
- to pass time idly or frivolously; waste time; idle.
- to pass or spend (time) idly or frivolously (usually followed by away).
Origin of trifle
SynonymsSee more synonyms for trifle on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for trifling
What's the point of tacking on some trifling symbolic punishment to their deep anguish?Some Things Are Beyond Punishment
June 25, 2013
The Flagstaff fire, though a trifling 300 acres, threatened Boulder and activated a top-level fire team.Colorado Blazes Remind Us That National Policy on Fire Needs a Fix
Stephen J. Pyne
June 29, 2012
Around the globe, people are barely coping, politicians are ignoring them, and the media are trifling with them.Leslie H. Gelb on a World in Crisis—and What Obama Should Do
Leslie H. Gelb
December 14, 2011
Things as trifling as the turning of a shell may restore you to your rights.
When you return, you will find a trifling token of remembrance for yourself and Philothea.
"You are trifling, Smithson," the owner of the store exclaimed, in high exasperation.Within the Law
This pulse is trifling with me; I see that it does not know me yet.The Imaginary Invalid
By trifling but unavoidable accidents, it was delayed a few hours.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
- insignificant or petty
- frivolous or idle
- 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
- (intr usually foll by with) to deal (with) as if worthless; dallyto trifle with a person's affections
- to waste (time) frivolously
Word Origin and History for trifling
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.
"treat lightly," 1520s, from trifle (n.). Related: Trifled; trifling.