trifle

noun
tri·fle | \ˈtrī-fəl \

Definition of trifle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something of little value, substance, or importance

2 : a dessert typically consisting of plain or sponge cake often soaked with wine or spirits (such as brandy or rum) and topped with layers of preserves, custard, and cream

a trifle

: to some small degree : slightly a trifle annoyed

trifle

verb
trifled; trifling\ˈtrī-f(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of trifle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to treat someone or something as unimportant

b : to talk in a jesting or mocking manner or with intent to delude or mislead

2 : to handle something idly

transitive verb

: to spend or waste in trifling or on trifles

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Other Words from trifle

Verb

trifler \ˈtrī-f(ə-)lər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for trifle

Verb

trifle, toy, dally, flirt, coquet mean to deal with or act toward without serious purpose. trifle may imply playfulness, unconcern, indulgent contempt. to trifle with a lover's feelings toy implies acting without full attention or serious exertion of one's powers. a political novice toying with great issues dally suggests indulging in thoughts or plans merely as an amusement. dallying with the idea of building a boat someday flirt implies an interest or attention that soon passes to another object. flirted with one fashionable ism after another coquet implies attracting interest or admiration without serious intention. companies that coquet with environmentalism solely for public relations

Examples of trifle in a Sentence

Noun

There's no reason to argue over such trifles. The money is a mere trifle to me.

Verb

do not trifle with me unless you mean to ask me to marry you spent a lazy afternoon trifling on the front porch
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sweet DTB's chef John Hill and pastry chef Jessica Shoemaker A cane syrup blackberry trifle. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Going to a NOWFE's grand tasting? The winning dishes are....," 22 May 2018 Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. David Roper, idahostatesman, "Finding the virtues to put yourself right with the Lord," 21 June 2018 What actually transpires with the patient seems like a quaint trifle, something to squeeze in among the primary tasks of getting everything typed into the [electronic health record]. Lloyd Minor, Fortune, "What The First Microscopes Teach Us About Electronic Health Records," 5 June 2018 The sit-down buffet supper will feature menu items from the era including chicken marsala, salad, chicken fettucine, shepherd's pie, flummery and trifle. Jan Lugenbuhl, NOLA.com, "Austen lovers gear up for Literary Festival," 25 Apr. 2018 If that seems a trifle overcooked, the strength of the fury shows the value of the Iran deal for Europeans. The Economist, "Europe has few good options for dealing with Donald Trump," 17 May 2018 Along with his wing men, Wendy Miklovic and Leon Contavesprie as the archangels Gabriel and Michael, Batt makes more of the trifle of a script than is there by sheer force of personality. Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com, "Bryan Batt's divine performance key to comedy of 'Act of God' at Le Petit," 14 May 2018 And what a marvelous assortment of puddings there are: rhubarb tarts; gooseberry fools; luscious concoctions of berries, meringue and whipped cream; and all manner of trifles. David Tanis, New York Times, "Bread Pudding Sheds Its Sweet Image," 4 May 2018 LeBlanc then unknowingly scooped some of the regurgitated trifle onto his own plate and called for the cameras to start rolling. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Matt LeBlanc recalls 'gross' moment from famous 'Friends' episode," 23 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The losers in this exchange were subsequently ignored, told that temporary wage assistance or retraining programs would paper over these trifling problems. David Dayen, The New Republic, "The Inevitable Death of Global Trade As We Know It," 12 July 2018 Jacksonville Jaguars: 11–5* The Jaguars defense is not to be trifled with. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Predicting Every NFL Team’s 2018 Season Record," 7 June 2018 But those who organized and attended last weekend’s March For Our Lives are not to be trifled with. Teresa M. Pelham, courant.com, "Mass Shooting Generation Armed with Ballots," 31 Mar. 2018 Luckily, on Wednesday Queen Elizabeth readily gave her consent in the form of a no-nonsense and not-to-be-trifled-with official letter. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's Final Hurdle? The Queen's Consent," 15 Mar. 2018 At the time, Summitt, whose flinty-eyed visage on the magazine’s cover left no doubt that the founder of the Lady Vols’ Tennessee basketball empire was no one to trifle with, was in her prime. Erik Spanberg, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Basketball' is a fast-break compilation that goes from from the beginning to Stephen Curry," 12 Mar. 2018 The 49ers trifled with them during the regular season, and in San Diego. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Chargers headed for Super Bowl," 16 Jan. 2018 Nevertheless, the cold is nothing to trifle with, forecasters warned. CBS News, "Bitter cold could bring snow, ice to South, more misery elsewhere," 3 Jan. 2018 Nevertheless, the cold is nothing to trifle with, forecasters warned. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Israelis voice warnings, Palestinians talk of 'blackmail' after Trump threatens to cut funding," 3 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trifle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of trifle

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1b

History and Etymology for trifle

Noun

Middle English trufle, trifle, from Anglo-French trufle, triffle fraud, trick, nonsense

Verb

Middle English truflen, triflen, from Anglo-French trufler to trick, talk nonsense

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Phrases Related to trifle

trifle with

Statistics for trifle

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Time Traveler for trifle

The first known use of trifle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for trifle

trifle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trifle

: something that does not have much value or importance

: a dessert made of layers of cake, jam or jelly, and custard and topped with whipped cream

trifle

noun
tri·fle | \ˈtrī-fəl \

Kids Definition of trifle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something of little value or importance

trifle

verb
trifled; trifling

Kids Definition of trifle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to treat (someone or something) as unimportant Robin … was the more muscular of the twins and not to be trifled with.— Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising

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