a trifle

Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to a trifle: triflers


a. Something of little importance or value.
b. A small amount; a jot.
2. A dessert typically consisting of plain or sponge cake soaked in sherry, rum, or brandy and topped with layers of jam or jelly, custard, and whipped cream.
a. A moderately hard variety of pewter.
b. trifles Utensils made from this variety of pewter.
v. tri·fled, tri·fling, tri·fles
1. To treat flippantly or without seriousness; play or toy: Don't trifle with my affections. See Synonyms at flirt.
2. Archaic To act or speak with little seriousness or purpose; jest.
To waste (time or money, for example).
a trifle
A little; somewhat: a trifle stingy.

[Middle English trufle, trifle, piece of foolishness, trifling matter, from Old French trufle, variant of truffe, trick, mockery, from Old Provençal trufa, truffle, mockery (from the notion that truffles, being difficult to find, seem to mock those who search for them); see truffle.]

tri′fler (trī′flər) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.a trifle - to a small degree; somewhat; "it's a bit warm"; "felt a little better"; "a trifle smaller"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
By the time he had snatched a trifle of breakfast, it was nine o'clock, and the court was ready to begin its sitting.
"I confess," said the Accuser, "that in comparison with the rascally way in which you have conducted yourself on the Bench, the rascally way in which you got there does seem rather a trifle."
A sharp woman, my dear Magdalen; but Joyce and I together may prove a trifle too much for her."