1

trifle

noun tri·fle \ ˈtrī-fəl \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of trifle

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

Examples of trifle in a Sentence

  1. There's no reason to argue over such trifles.

  2. The money is a mere trifle to me.

Recent Examples of trifle from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of trifle

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

2

trifle

verb

Definition of trifle

trifled; trifling play \-f(ə-)liŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a : 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

trifler

play \-f(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of trifle in a Sentence

  1. do not trifle with me unless you mean to ask me to marry you

  2. spent a lazy afternoon trifling on the front porch

Recent Examples of trifle from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of trifle

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

trifle Synonyms

Synonyms
coquet (or coquette), dally, frivol, mess around, toy, flirt
Related Words
vamp; court, mash, woo; josh, kid, put on, razz, rib, tease; fool, lead on, string along; manipulate, play (with)
Near Antonyms
buckle (down), knuckle down, set (to), settle (down)

Synonym Discussion of trifle

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


TRIFLE Defined for English Language Learners

trifle

noun

Definition of trifle for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

trifle

noun tri·fle \ ˈtrī-fəl \

Definition of trifle for Students

: something of little value or importance

2

trifle

verb

Definition of trifle for Students

trifled; trifling
: 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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