January 22, 2013
trifle (noun)
\TRYE-ful\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : something of little value or importance; especially : a small amount of money2 : a dessert of sponge cake spread with jam or jelly covered with a custard and whipped cream
How do you use it?
"I will not be exchanged for such a trifle. My mere weight? A paltry treasure you could carry on a shoulder? . . . A prince is worth a prince's ransom!" (Sid Fleischman, _The Whipping Boy_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Trifle" is a noun, but it can also be used as another part of speech. What other function can "trifle" have in a sentence?

"Trifle" can be used as a noun or a verb. The verb means "to talk in a joking manner" or "to act in a silly or careless manner," and it usually suggests that you are treating something as unimportant -- definitely not taking it seriously. The verb is most often used in sentences such as, "Don't trifle with my feelings." Both the noun and the verb come from French, and their ancestors are related but not identical. The noun comes from an old French word meaning "mockery" and the verb comes from an equally old French word meaning "to mock." The phrase "a trifle" means "to a small degree, slightly," as in "a trifle annoyed."
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