- of very little importance or value; insignificant: Don't bother me with trivial matters.
- commonplace; ordinary.
- Biology. (of names of organisms) specific, as distinguished from generic.
- noting a solution of an equation in which the value of every variable of the equation is equal to zero.
- (of a theorem, proof, or the like) simple, transparent, or immediately evident.
- Chemistry. (of names of chemical compounds) derived from the natural source, or of historic origin, and not according to the systematic nomenclature: Picric acid is the trivial name of 2,4,6-trinitrophenol.
Origin of trivial
SynonymsSee more synonyms for trivial on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for trivial
Harping about a Republican war on women while wages stagnate and growth sputters is trivial and desperate.Earth to DNC: Dyspeptic Dad Still Votes, Too
November 11, 2014
The most riveting stories so far deal with trivial matters that sound like deleted scenes from a George Costanza fever dream.Why D.C. Wants an Election About Nothing
October 23, 2014
That may seem like a trivial point, but it is not universally agreed on.Pennsylvania. Oregon. Is Gay Marriage Unstoppable?
May 20, 2014
Is it really a trivial thing to not offer a desired benefit to employees?Contraception Looks Like a Loser at the Supreme Court
March 25, 2014
Tolstoy is unsurpassed in combining the grand with the trivial, that is, the small details which make up life.Susan Minot on Africa, Joseph Kony, and the Limits of Writing About Love
February 10, 2014
You've made me your butt, your fool, your doer of trivial offices.Viviette
William J. Locke
He was a gentleman, but the trivial fact is of small avail to-day.Within the Law
And at least it was not a trivial view, nor an ill meant one.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
His tone was as level as if he were discussing some trivial matter.The Bacillus of Beauty
On Mike's face was a map of disaster; the disaster might be trivial or great.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
- of little importance; petty or frivoloustrivial complaints
- ordinary or commonplace; tritetrivial conversation
- maths (of the solutions of a set of homogeneous equations) having zero values for all the variables
- biology denoting the specific name of an organism in binomial nomenclature
- biology chem denoting the popular name of an organism or substance, as opposed to the scientific one
- of or relating to the trivium
Word Origin and History for trivial
"ordinary" (1580s); "insignificant" (1590s), from Latin trivialis "common, commonplace, vulgar," literally "of or belonging to the crossroads," from trivium "place where three roads meet," in transferred use, "an open place, a public place," from tri- "three" (see three) + via "road" (see via). The sense connection is "public," hence "common, commonplace."
The earliest use of the word in English was early 15c., a separate borrowing in the academic sense "of the trivium" (the first three liberal arts); from a Medieval Latin use of trivialis in the sense "of the trivium," from trivium as neuter of the Latin adjective trivius "of three roads." Cf. trivia. Related: Trivially. The board game Trivial Pursuit was released 1982 and was a craze in U.S. for several years thereafter.