: something of little value, substance, or importance
: 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
trifled; trifling ˈtrī-f(ə-)liŋ
: to treat someone or something as unimportant
: to talk in a jesting or mocking manner or with intent to delude or mislead
: to handle something idly
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
Recent Examples on the Web
NounThis berry trifle is stacked high with vanilla pudding, pound cake, and juicy strawberries and blueberries. —Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Mar. 2023 Get the recipe 3 Adam Handling's Strawberry and Ginger Trifle What's a more English dessert than a trifle? —townandcountrymag.com, 22 Apr. 2023 Nothing says throwback dessert like a trifle. —Alysha Witwicki, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Dec. 2021 Audiences ate them both up like a Sunday trifle. —Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 8 May 2021 The twin-carburetor four-cylinder is good for 62 horsepower, which makes the octagonal, 105-mph speedometer seem a trifle optimistic. —Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 11 Mar. 2023 For something based on a boomer-nostalgia title and designed by nature to be a cash-in, this late-summer trifle was breezy, fun, and surprisingly great. —David Fear, Rolling Stone, 3 Mar. 2023 This trifle was not made of cream; it was made of a thick white sauce. —Dan Snierson, EW.com, 22 Nov. 2022 Special to this year will be a classic beef Wellington as well as fish and chips, and an English trifle for dessert. —Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 10 Mar. 2023
VerbThroughout the book, matters of politics or patriotism are steamrolled by corporations, which (like the rocket) transcend nations and their trifling differences. —John Semley, WIRED, 16 Feb. 2023 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, 18 Apr. 2020 But these are trifling compared to the headaches caused by street protests. —Max De Haldevang, Quartz, 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, 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, 15 Feb. 2020 But California’s relatively trifling ceiling can add up quickly for firms with thousands of users. —The Economist, 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, 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, 15 Oct. 2019 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trifle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Words at Play
Palter, Dissemble, and Other Words for Lying
Skunk, Bayou, and Other Words with Native American Origins
You've used more than you might think
Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names, Vol. 2
When 'thingamajig' and 'thingamabob' just won't do
When Were Words First Used?
Look up any year to find out
Ask the Editors
Name That Thing MegaQuiz: Vol. 5
Test your visual vocabulary!
Take the quiz
Match the Baby Animal to Its Mama
Prove you're the best of the nest.
Take the quiz
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?
Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!
Take the quiz
Spelling Bee Quiz
Can you outdo past winners of the National Spelli...
Take the quiz