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Bagatelle   Listen
Bagatelle

noun
1.
A light piece of music for piano.
2.
Something of little value or significance.  Synonyms: fluff, frippery, frivolity.
3.
A table game in which short cues are used to knock balls into holes that are guarded by wooden pegs; penalties are incurred if the pegs are knocked over.  Synonym: bar billiards.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bagatelle" Quotes from Famous Books



... used to handling money. I didn't come out here for a bagatelle. My uncle wanted me to stay East and go in on the Mobile custom house, work up the Washington end of it; he said there was a fortune in it for a smart young fellow, but I preferred to take the chances out here. Did I tell you I had an offer from Bobbett and Fanshaw to go into their office as ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... the public room. They're always quarreling there, over their drink and the bagatelle-board; and Dick has to turn them out. But ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... their way of life or proving persistent lawbreakers might be hived in reserves with their wives and families. The reserves themselves would cost nothing, the Indians could find employment as other Indians have, and the expense of establishing would be a bagatelle. As a matter of fact, in spite of all the bad bargains having always been on the Indian side when sales and treaties were made with the whites, there is enough money to the credit of the Indians in the hands of the Government to establish a dozen hives and keep the people in them as idle ...
— Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador • William Wood

... part of Alaska—that is, beyond the Endicott Range—to obtain this rare plant for me. You have already flown over the North Pole and a trip which carries one only three or four degrees beyond the Arctic Circle is a mere bagatelle to you." ...
— On a Torn-Away World • Roy Rockwood

... you see one of those naval officers has turned round and heard you? My dear Clopper, it was a mere childish bagatelle." ...
— The Fatal Boots • William Makepeace Thackeray

... pourrait dicter l'histoire, Je dis l'amour volage, et non l'amour constant; Ce peuple fou, brusque et galant, Chansonnier insupportable, Superbe en sa fortune, en son malheur rampant, D'un bavardage impitoyable, Pour cacher le creux d'un esprit ignorant, Tendre amant de la bagatelle, Elle entre seule en sa cervelle; Leger, indiscret, imprudent, Comme ume girouette il revire a tout vent. Des siecles des Cesars ceux des Louis sont l'ombre; Rome efface Paris en tout sens, en tout point. Non, des vils ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... rather like to have the thanks of Congress," answered Sam, as if that were a mere bagatelle. This conversation occurred in a restaurant. A young officer was sitting alone at the next table, and he gave his order to the waiter in a ...
— Captain Jinks, Hero • Ernest Crosby

... worth while your applying to one who am in power for the moment, a support of the Republic, in order to obtain such a bagatelle. Consider, you may perhaps ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume I (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... wards to be divided. The messes vary in number; some contain eight, some ten, some even fourteen. On either side of the central gangway in the hall are tables where the old men can sit and smoke, and play dominoes, cards, and bagatelle. There is a raised dais at the western end, in the centre of which, facing the door, is a bust of Queen Victoria, and right across the end of the room, and continuing for the width of the dais, on the sides ...
— Chelsea - The Fascination of London • G. E. (Geraldine Edith) Mitton

... is a most provoking animal—there is the bore facetious, an insufferable creature, always laughing, but with whom you can never laugh. And there is another exotic variety—the vive la bagatelle bore of the ape kind—who imitate men of genius. Having early been taught that there is nothing more delightful than the unbending of a great mind, they set about continually to unbend ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... examined with keen glances each side of the path they were traversing. They hesitated as to whether they would go to the Catelan Cross or under the walls of the Bagatelle. At last they took a turn to the right; and they drew up in a kind of quincunx in the midst ...
— Sentimental Education, Volume II - The History of a Young Man • Gustave Flaubert

... He is often absent days and weeks. She has not seen the smoke of a city in five years; but this is dull. I had something more cheerful to say; this, however, came first, and would have place. And here am I, at midnight, talking such stuff to bagatelle, and twenty unanswered letters of vast importance before me! Get to ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... writing in the midst of one of the greatest battles in history. Any bombardment this world has ever known was a mere bagatelle to this. ...
— The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde" • George Davidson

... Road I strolled one day, Deep in some bagatelle (you know my way), When up comes one whose name I scarcely knew— "The dearest of dear fellows! how d'ye do?" He grasped my hand—"Well, thanks: the same to you." Then, as he still kept walking by my side, ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... no idea what prices men are willing to pay for what they desire. Faery even with my means would seem a mere bagatelle to most young ...
— Medoline Selwyn's Work • Mrs. J. J. Colter

... and it required a refreshing draught of porter, with half an hour's repose, ere I could determine to give no further thought to Christie and her opinions than those of any other vulgar, prejudiced old woman. I resolved at last to treat the thing EN BAGATELLE, and calling for writing materials, I folded up a cheque for L100, with these lines on ...
— Chronicles of the Canongate • Sir Walter Scott

... Monsieur (IL S'AGIT D'UNE BAGATELLE): only to make Peace, if people are pleased to wish it! I know not what your Instructions are: but, in the supposition that the King your Master, zow assured by your Successes, will have put it in your power to labor ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.—1757-1759. • Thomas Carlyle

... take it, has not quite managed to come to satisfactory terms with her brother—and I have no doubt her price for assistance has been high—has informed me more than once that her brother desires to do me so much honor. The count, perhaps, thinks that he can manage such a bagatelle without any aid from his sister; and my dearest Sophie seems to feel that she can do better with me herself in my widowed state, than if I were to take another husband. They are so kind and ...
— The Claverings • Anthony Trollope

... that had gathered on Monsieur's brow fled as the fellow spoke. For he did speak, telling in his own style that the concussion had been a mere bagatelle, that his faculties had returned quite unimpaired after their brief absence, and that he was hungry but ready to serve us. What he did actually say to express this—to which the professor would have devoted five whole minutes ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... mere bagatelle but for the Gap Gang cutting in on our line of retreat. That added interest, and made a bright little affair of what would otherwise have been a ...
— The Gentleman - A Romance of the Sea • Alfred Ollivant

... for would have made me supremely happy, but vive la bagatelle! I want to know when I ...
— Not Pretty, But Precious • John Hay, et al.

... of five dollars for the landlord. But who is he? How is the poor landlord, or victualler to discover somebody else, who is neither lodger, stranger, nor traveller. The landlord cannot detect him, but all sheriffs, grand jurors, and constables are required to hunt for him! Vive la bagatelle! ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887 - Volume 1, Number 6 • Various

... a dire pour une bagatelle; but what can you expect from such animals? For what are you imprisoned? Did I not hear ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... was concluded by an adjournment to the dining-room to play bagatelle, the most inane of games, to which the billiard-player goes with contempt, changed quickly to wrath when he cannot put the balls into absurd little holes. Mary was an adept, and took pleasure in showing James how the thing should be done. He noticed that she and the curate managed the ...
— The Hero • William Somerset Maugham

... PLAY GAMES.—A complete and useful little book, containing the rules and regulations of billiards, bagatelle, backgammon, ...
— The Bradys Beyond Their Depth - The Great Swamp Mystery • Anonymous

... that "sad, silent Passy," as Strindberg's own chronicle of those times reads. There he took his walks in the deserted arcades of the empty Trocadero Palace, back of which he lived; went to the Theatre Francais, where he saw the great success of the day, and was startled that "an undramatic bagatelle with threadbare scenery, stale intrigues and superannuated theatrical tricks, could be playing on the foremost stage of the world;" saw at the Palais de l'Industrie the triennial exhibition of art works, "the creme ...
— Plays: Comrades; Facing Death; Pariah; Easter • August Strindberg

... falter, although here and there in their ranks you could discover a man leaning against a comrade, who gave him support as they moved on together. The crowd seemed a little dashed. The dispersion of the Sixth Regiment had been such a mere bagatelle, and their own number had, since then, been re-enforced by half the professional rowdies in town. They redoubled their cries, which, from jeers, now became shouts of rage ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 6 • Various

... can dine en prince for thirty sous. And if you are at Paris on business, and want any letters written in private, I can also recommend to you my friend here, M. Lebeau. Ay, and on affairs his advice is as good as a lawyer's, and his fee a bagatelle." ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... this land-forming action, there can be no doubt that the Nile has the intention of filling up by degrees the whole eastern Mediterranean, and that in process of time—say in no more than a few million years or so, a mere bagatelle to the geologist—with the aid of the Po and some other lesser streams, it will transform the entire basin of the inland sea into a level and cultivable plain, like Bengal or Mesopotamia, themselves (as we shall see) the final result ...
— Science in Arcady • Grant Allen

... her wit, and the gaiety that accompanied all she said, so much astonished and transported him, that he cried out, without knowing that he did so, 'Good God!—is it possible a monastery can contain such charms!'—She affected to treat the admiration he expressed, as no other than meer bagatelle; but how serious a satisfaction she took in it, a ...
— Life's Progress Through The Passions - Or, The Adventures of Natura • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... by the foreigner in the United States is a mere bagatelle. He is odious not because he is a foreigner, but only because he is the representative, on the one hand, of the odious land system of the Old World, and on the other of those monarchical ideas which have made the great body of the European people unwilling ...
— Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South • Timothy Thomas Fortune

... said Mr. Sharpe with a slight smile, 'if we were talking of a sum of any importance, why, one might be a little more punctilious, but for such a bagatelle we have already wasted too much time in its discussion. I ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... companies. The whole thing is corrupt, as it ever must be when government is in the hands of a mere middle class, and that, too, a limited one; but it may last hopelessly long, and in the meantime, 'Vive la bagatelle!'" ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... covered carriage that started with them for Wigton—a most desirable carriage for any country, except for its having a flat roof and no sides; which caused the plumps of rain accumulating on the roof to play vigorous games of bagatelle into the interior all the way, and to score immensely. It was comfortable to see how the people coming back in open carts from Wigton market made no more of the rain than if it were sunshine; how the Wigton policeman taking a country walk of half-a- dozen miles (apparently for pleasure), ...
— The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices • Charles Dickens

... fervently than did Arthur Maynwaring? For whatever may have been the faults of this dashing Whig, he had the courage of his sins, and took up his abode with Anne in the full light of day, as though a marriage ceremony were a bagatelle not worth the recollecting. The world was forgiving, to be sure, nor is it probable that either one of this easily-mated pair suffered any loss of public esteem by the union. Dukes—nay, even Duchesses—were glad to meet Nance, and Royalty allowed her to bask in the sunshine of its gracious approval. ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... one hundred miles from St. John to Moncton was for me, at that time, a much less formidable undertaking than it would appear in our times and latitude. A thirty-mile tramp was a bagatelle, and houses of entertainment—farmhouses where a traveler could rest or eat for a few pennies—were scattered along the road. But there was one great difficulty at the start. My instructions had been to follow the telegraph wires. I soon found that the line of telegraph ...
— The Reminiscences of an Astronomer • Simon Newcomb

... exactly,' replied the sculptor. 'What one does in one's art, that is the breath of one's being. What one does in one's life, that is a bagatelle for ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... is a reprieve only, not a final sentence.... I can say, with conscious truth, that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in any practicable way. The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle that would not cost me a second thought, if, in that way, a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and, gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be."[1] For the time being, however, the South was concerned ...
— A Social History of the American Negro • Benjamin Brawley

... Boulogne, in a semicircle from about the Villa Rothschild to Bagatelle, following the race course at Longchamps, is one vast camp, and from this camp to the village of Boulogne the work of constructing trenches parallel with the enceinte is being pushed rapidly forward. I saw hundreds of men working at ...
— The Insurrection in Paris • An Englishman: Davy

... days. Men were miserably poor. It was one long warfare with hunger and cold. The ravages of disease among children were really the result of insufficient food in those poverty-stricken times. Although the mortgage on the farm was a mere bagatelle, the father lost the homestead, and became a hired man on fifty cents a day, on which amount he had to feed and clothe his family. This boy worked by day and studied by night. History and politics, poetry and science, formed the staples of his reading and reflection. For two years ...
— The Battle of Principles - A Study of the Heroism and Eloquence of the Anti-Slavery Conflict • Newell Dwight Hillis

... I can tell you a man who feels nervous before a fight is all right, because he has some idea of what he is going to meet. It is the reckless recruit that often proves a coward. He fancies it a mere bagatelle, and finds out his ...
— With Steyn and De Wet • Philip Pienaar

... the occasion, he would have got rid of it less awkwardly. "I shouldn't wonder if Mary were to be here by and by. There was a sort of engagement that she and Jack De Baron were to come and play bagatelle in the back drawing-room; but Jack never comes if he says he will, and I daresay she ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... welcomed with the kindest hospitality, that I received my first impressions of "life in the clearings." My hosts were only recovering from the fatigues of a "thrashing-bee" of the day before, and, while we were playing at bagatelle, one of the gentlemen assistants came to the door, and asked if the "Boss" were at home. A lady told me that, when she first came out, a servant asked her "How the boss liked his shirts done?" As Mrs. Moodie had not then enlightened the world on the subject ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... where you can meet and spend the long winter evenings? Well, I'll soon see to that." And soon, to their delight, they had a nice building reared on a piece of land which he bought for the purpose, furnished with tables, chairs, bagatelle boards, and all accessories; and he also supplied them with newspapers and magazines. He was immensely popular, but appeared to think little of what he had done. When they expressed their gratitude to him he would ...
— Birds in Town and Village • W. H. Hudson

... case of a citizen of the middle class, who somehow or other finds himself in possession of L20,000. He could, of course, spend his money at the rate of L2,000 a year, a mere bagatelle in these days of fantastic, senseless luxury. But then he would have nothing left at the end of ten years. So, being a "practical person," he prefers to keep his fortune intact, and win for himself a snug ...
— The Conquest of Bread • Peter Kropotkin

... through the tops of the trees that grew upon the banks of the river. As soon as day broke, they began to consider how they would reach those trees. Although swimming a river of that width would have been to any of the four a mere bagatelle, they saw that it was not to be so easy an affair. Had they been upon either bank, they could have crossed to the other without difficulty—as they would have chosen a place where the water was comparatively ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... Hippolyte, "I am offered ten livres for the yellow birds. Une bagatelle! Onze, Gaspard! Onze! onze livres, ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... clear from weeds, as we should say,—no easy task, it may be assumed, with a soil so luxuriant, and where frost is unknown. Yet the amount of cotton produced annually in the Hot Land is shamefully small, not exceeding ten million pounds,—a mere bagatelle, which Manchester would devour in a week. Consider what an increase in cottons and calicoes, what a gain in shirts and sheets, would follow from the seizure of those fields by Americans from Mississippi and Alabama; and let no idle notions concerning national ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... the fisherman has a greater advantage by having a discount upon these small purchases when they are all taken together, than he would have if he were paying for them separately. The discount upon two ounces of tobacco or a quarter pound of tea would be a mere bagatelle; but when the whole of his purchases [Page 141] in the course of the year are added together and the 5 per cent. taken off the whole, it comes to something. With our fishermen, as a rule, I consider that these accounts are perfectly ...
— Second Shetland Truck System Report • William Guthrie

... creation and reproduction of refined and ingenious conversations, and in her reflections on subjects pertaining to morality and literature—in all of which she displayed justness and entire liberty and independence of thought. Her poetry, delicate compliment or innocent gallantries, was a mere bagatelle of the salon. ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... to it the last year—a mere bagatelle to what I had all the time I was at college and Tech.," replied Ashton, his eyes sparkling at the recollection. "He wished me to get in thick with the New Yorkers, the sons of the Wall Street leaders. He gave me leave to draw on him without limit. I did ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... novel are of the flimsiest sort; round dancing and the theatre come in for intolerant abuse. All the poor people get Christmas presents, and one son of Belial, who is anxious to run away with his neighbors wife, is bought off for thirty thousand dollars, a mere bagatelle in this moral Monte Christo. For the same sum of money it might have been possible to close a theatre for a winter or to bribe penniless young men to give up dancing a dozen Germans. Besides their lavish extravagance, ...
— The Gold of Chickaree • Susan Warner

... authorities, who impose a fine or tax upon the superficial area of the cultivated land. Thus, no one will cultivate more than is absolutely necessary, as he dreads the difficulties that broad acres of waving crops would entail upon his family. The bona fide tax is a bagatelle to the amounts squeezed from him by the extortionate soldiery, who are the agents employed by the sheik; these must have their share of the plunder, in excess of the amount to be delivered to their employer; he also must ...
— In the Heart of Africa • Samuel White Baker

... festival is said to have cost M. Dollfus half a million of francs, a bagatelle in a career devoted to giving! The bare conception of what this good man has bestowed takes one's breath away! Not that he was alone; never was a city more prolific of generous men than Mulhouse, but Jean Dollfus, "Le Pere Jean," as he is called, stood at the head. He received with ...
— In the Heart of the Vosges - And Other Sketches by a "Devious Traveller" • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... very educative; they will comprehend the value of money before we dump them into a mercenary world. Those who are particularly good in lessons or work will receive an extra recompense. My head aches at the thought of the bookkeeping, but Percy waves that aside as a mere bagatelle. It is to be accomplished by our prize arithmeticians, and will train them for positions of trust. If Jervis hears of any opening for bank officials, let me know; I shall have a well-trained president, cashier, and paying ...
— Dear Enemy • Jean Webster

... want of philosophy!" So in the Introduction to "The Tale of a Tub," he, half in jest and half in earnest, declares that "wisdom is like a cheese, whereof to a judicious taste the maggots are the best." Vive la bagatelle! trembled upon his lips at the age of threescore; and he amused himself with reading the most trifling books he could find, and writing upon the most trifling subjects. Lord Bolingbroke wrote to him to beg him "to put on his philosophical ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various



Words linked to "Bagatelle" :   Great Britain, table game, trifle, opus, Britain, U.K., United Kingdom, small beer, composition, bar billiards, musical composition, piece of music, triviality, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, trivia, UK, piece



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