a small ornament, piece of jewelry, etc., usually of little value.
anything of trivial value.

verb (used without object)

to deal secretly or surreptitiously.

Origin of trinket

First recorded in 1525–35; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trinket

Contemporary Examples of trinket

  • It looked like a copper pull-chain from an old lamp, with a trinket attached that could have come from a cereal box.

    The Daily Beast logo
    To Shoot or Not to Shoot

    Edward Conlon

    April 14, 2011

  • The trinket works as follows: Ask a question, shake the ball, and a tiny digital readout supplies an answer.

    The Daily Beast logo
    If Hillary Is Worthy, Then So Is Caroline

    Geraldine Brooks

    December 17, 2008

Historical Examples of trinket

  • It is a trinket that isn't of much value only as a keep-sake.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • So Badhild gave the trinket to the girl and bade her take it to Wayland.

  • It did not avail, for she would hot move till she received some trinket.

    Negritos of Zambales

    William Allan Reed

  • Struck by a sudden thought, he dropped the trinket back on the carpet.

    The Hand in the Dark

    Arthur J. Rees

  • I must have touched the spot by accident, for of a sudden the trinket flew open.

    The Cryptogram

    William Murray Graydon

British Dictionary definitions for trinket



a small or worthless ornament or piece of jewellery
a trivial object; trifle
Derived Formstrinketry, noun

Word Origin for trinket

C16: perhaps from earlier trenket little knife, via Old Northern French, from Latin truncāre to lop
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 trinket

1530s, of unknown origin. Evidently a diminutive form, perhaps related to trick.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper