trifle

noun
tri·​fle | \ ˈtrī-fəl How to pronounce trifle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce trifle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce trifle (audio) \ 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 Well, maybe if Rachel baked her custard, jam and meat trifle dessert again. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "20 things to look forward to from the world of pop culture in 2021," 1 Jan. 2021 For the eve, tomahawk steak ($195) or king crab ($220) come with all the fixings and a Black Forest trifle. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "25 Twin Cities restaurants offering takeout meals for New Year's Eve," 22 Dec. 2020 The five bakers must create an over-the-top version of a holiday trifle. Washington Post, "What to watch on Monday: ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ on Netflix," 14 Dec. 2020 Migs eventually comes in to rescue him, smoothly giving their numbers and saying Mando’s a trifle deaf after an accident. Lauren Morgan, EW.com, "The Mandalorian recap: Mando finds there's no line he won’t cross," 11 Dec. 2020 But many other less involved and richly gratifying desserts (cranberry-ginger upside down cake, sherry trifle with Meyer lemon mousse, black walnut and buckwheat tea cakes) make the book worth owning. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, "The 11 best new food books to add to your collection," 3 Dec. 2020 Sofia Coppola’s best film, 1989’s Life Without Zoe, was also Francis Ford Coppola’s loveliest trifle, an emotionally buoyant anecdote featuring ecstatic visual elegance (as shot by Vittorio Storaro). Armond White, National Review, "Sofia Coppola’s Cinema-of-Privilege," 23 Oct. 2020 Desserts include peanut butter pie, serves six, $17; deep dish caramel apple pie, 14 slices, $42; pumpkin and maple cinnamon cheesecake trifle, serves eight-10, $25. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Thanksgiving 2020: Where to get takeout for Turkey Day in Alabama," 16 Nov. 2020 Specifically, a trifle that riffs on the classic, layered British treat, with breakfast ingredients that are—gasp—even a bit healthy. Kate Krader, Bloomberg.com, "A Great British Bake Off Star Creates a Genius Make-Ahead Breakfast," 13 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Of course, for the heavily black work force in and around Detroit that can’t retreat to a vacation home, such an inconvenience is trifling by comparison. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Gretchen Whitmer Isn’t Backing Down," 18 Apr. 2020 But these are trifling compared to the headaches caused by street protests. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "Coronavirus has crippled global protest movements," 1 Apr. 2020 But given the attention his company has been getting from the government, the strict confidentiality employees willingly stick to, and the small early demos depicted, Amaya is clearly not to be trifled with. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Starring Nick Offerman as bearded tech-bro enigma, FX’s Devs has a lot going on," 6 Mar. 2020 The pair enjoy spreading the word about the cook who fed the wranglers and wasn’t one to be trifled with. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "Chuck wagon cook rustles up Old West chow at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo," 15 Feb. 2020 But California’s relatively trifling ceiling can add up quickly for firms with thousands of users. The Economist, "The data sheriffs Companies should take California’s new data-privacy law seriously," 18 Dec. 2019 But over the last week, such worries have come to feel almost trifling, as Mississippi’s state prisons have exploded with gang warfare, riots, disorder and killing. Richard Fausset, BostonGlobe.com, "‘A bloodbath’: 5 dead as gang violence rocks Mississippi prisons," 9 Jan. 2020 Pairing Smith with Fitzgerald Mofor on the outside has proven an effective move and Kris Moll and Noah Wilder’s presence in the middle is one with which not to trifle. Evan Dudley, al, "5 takeaways from UAB’s 33-14 victory over UTSA," 15 Oct. 2019 The guild has insisted that the solidarity and resolve its members have shown in the agency fight sends a signal to the studios, too, that writers are newly energized and not to be trifled with. Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Writers Guild Reveals Studio Negotiating Committee Amid Agency Fight," 8 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for trifle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for trifle

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trifle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trifle. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for trifle

trifle

noun
How to pronounce trifle (audio)

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 How to pronounce trifle (audio) \

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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Comments on trifle

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