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Trifle   /trˈaɪfəl/   Listen
Trifle

verb
(past & past part. trifled; pres. part. trifling)
1.
Waste time; spend one's time idly or inefficiently.  Synonyms: piddle, piddle away, wanton, wanton away.
2.
Act frivolously.  Synonym: frivol.
3.
Consider not very seriously.  Synonyms: dally, play.  "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"



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"Trifle" Quotes from Famous Books



... be made to enable the Secretary of War to keep cavalry and artillery horses, worn-out in long performance of duty. Such horses fetch but a trifle when sold; and rather than turn them out to the misery awaiting them when thus disposed of, it would be better to employ them at light work around the posts, and when necessary to put ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... here, at one time, to an alarming extent, and even fifty years ago, though he was too slippery a fish for the authorities to lay hold of, it was well-known there was a clever engraver in the Inkleys who would copy anything put before him for the merest trifle, even though the punishment was most severe. Under "Notable Offences" will be found several cases of interest in this peculiar line ...
— Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History And Guide Arranged Alphabetically • Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell

... from the water only a few yards in front of the canoe. The man who was behind me fired with his carbine close to my head. The bullet grazed my right ear. It was a trifle trying to be travelling with such careless sportsmen, but the best thing was to say ...
— Across Unknown South America • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... supermannism, he retained some traces of personality. He was bald, and sensitive about it; he always had been a trifle foppish. So when they gave him a nice laurel wreath for his triumph over Pompey, he continued, against all precedent, to wear it indefinitely,—as hiding certain shining surfaces from the vulgar gaze.... "H'm," said Rome, "he goes about the ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... the castle ghost—this old rummy who can't sleep in his grave of nights? Ha, ha! I'm not afraid of a little trifle ...
— The Ghost Breaker - A Novel Based Upon the Play • Charles Goddard

... his moderation. Had I been in his place I should have asked more, for really the style is a little flamboyant. Well, we don't want to quarrel with them just now—feed the sharks. But surely, Jeffreys, you didn't come to disturb me about such a trifle?" ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... unaided, he returns to camp and modestly keeps silence over his achievement until some question as to his luck is put to him; then he remarks that he has left some small piece of game in the jungle, a mere trifle. Three or four men will then set out and, following the path he has marked by bending down twigs on his way back to camp, will find the game and bring it in. If a present of tobacco is made to one member of a group of Punans, the whole mass is divided ...
— The Pagan Tribes of Borneo • Charles Hose and William McDougall

... as Burgess began his run. This time he was more than a trifle nervous. The bowling he had had so far had been tame. This would ...
— Mike • P. G. Wodehouse

... House— The best you ever saw; and he'll be there Anon, as you're an Alderman. Good God! He makes me lie awake o' nights and laugh. And you have known him from his origin, You tell me; and a most uncommon urchin He must have been to the few seeing ones— A trifle terrifying, I dare say, Discovering a world with his man's eyes, Quite as another lad might see some finches, If he looked hard and had an eye for nature. But this one had his eyes and their foretelling, And he ...
— The Man Against the Sky • Edwin Arlington Robinson

... of him in your pleasures, In your brief twilight dreams of the past; In this green laurel-spray that he treasures, It was plucked where your parting was last; In this specimen,—but a small trifle,— It will do for a pin for your shawl (Which the truth not to wickedly stifle Was his last week's "clean ...
— East and West - Poems • Bret Harte

... grew louder and I made my way finally into the open glassfronted cockpit, pulling myself in with the last bit of my strength. For a long moment I lay huddled there, exhausted. My eye took in every trifle, every bolthead, rivet, scratch, dent, indicator, seam and panel, playing with them in my mind, making and rejecting patterns. They were artificial, made on a blessed assemblyline—no terrifying ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... three others that have been loaned to me for a long time; I shall send them off, and I shall read yours at the end of the week, during a little two-days' trip that I am forced to take to Pont-l'Eveque and to Honfleur for my Histoire d'un coeur simple, a trifle now "on the stocks," as M. Prudhomme ...
— The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters • George Sand, Gustave Flaubert

... to see that man racking his brains to find some way of showing her how he appreciated what she'd done for him. Please walk to the end of the room, Mis' Thompson, slow and graceful, till I see how that skirt hangs. Just a trifle long on the seam. I ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... such trivial anecdotes; yet a lady, who was accustomed to the conversation of deep philosophers and polished courtiers, listened without disdain to these simple annals. Nothing appeared to her a trifle that could tend to form the habits of temper, truth, honesty, order, and industry;—habits which are to be early induced, not by solemn precepts, but by practical lessons. A few more examples of these shall be recorded, notwithstanding the ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... he said, "Don't mention it, sir. It's only a trifle," though it was, as Mr. Norris said, palpable that the flannels were ruined. Still, if he hadn't found that confounded cat, they would never, humanly speaking, have ...
— The Tree of Heaven • May Sinclair

... very little, sir. If the ball don't go to the top of the cliff I shall put a trifle more into the gun next time; it's better to make a mistake ...
— The Bravest of the Brave - or, with Peterborough in Spain • G. A. Henty

... her ladyship, "to trifle; I am satisfied. My lord, I can give you the most irrefragable proof that whatever may have been the apparent levity of my conduct, you have had no serious cause for jealousy. But the proof will shock, disgust you. Have you courage to know ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV. • Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... when he came home, and she came forward to be fondled and caressed by him without shame or diffidence. Girls at her age are usually shy and under restraint, but with her it was quite different. And again, if a girl has somewhat of jealousy in her disposition, and looks upon every little trifle in a serious light, a man will have to be cautious in his dealings with her, and she herself, too, will often have to undergo vexation. Thus many disagreeable and unexpected incidents might often result. In the case of Violet, however, ...
— Japanese Literature - Including Selections from Genji Monogatari and Classical - Poetry and Drama of Japan • Various

... looking a trifle alarmed. "Wonder where the fellows went. I'd better put them on. We never thought of that. If you girls will excuse me, ...
— Grace Harlowe's Junior Year at High School - Or, Fast Friends in the Sororities • Jessie Graham Flower

... said, 'that must go; and, between Pleydell and Mac-Morlan, they'll cut down my claim on it to a trifle. My character—but if I get off with life and liberty I'll win money yet and varnish that over again. I knew not of the gauger's job until the rascal had done the deed, and, though I had some advantage by the contraband, that is no felony. But the kidnapping of the boy—there ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... Between you and me, Louisa—Mrs. Tracy—means to inherit all the old lady's property, and doesn't like to have anyone come in, even for a trifle. She'll have me left out in the cold if she can, but I mean to have something to say to that. In such matters you can't trust even ...
— Luke Walton • Horatio Alger

... to be a trifle easier this morning. But what's ailing the both of you? Look as if you'd been setting up ...
— Captain Pott's Minister • Francis L. Cooper

... the corner of a drawing-room, that would never reach him in his bureau. Then all the ministers are met in society, while the diplomate, properly speaking, can claim officially to see but one. In short, in saving, out of an overflowing treasury, a few thousand dollars a year, we trifle with our own interests, frequently embarrass our agents, and in some degree discredit the country. I am not one of your sensitives on the subject of parade and appearance, nor a member of the embroidery school; still I would ...
— Recollections of Europe • J. Fenimore Cooper

... a trifle more ceremonious, though with Erica perched on the arm of her father's chair, ready to squeeze his hand at every word which pleased her, it could hardly become stiff. Raeburn had just heard the report of Mr. Randolph's scheme, and had already taken precautionary measures; ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... departed, leading the horse which Hardcastle had ridden home from their barracks, and leaving him at peace once more with his two young men. But on the squatter the time had told; his table had been full to overflowing through it all; and he sank into a long chair, a trifle grayer at the temples, a thought looser in his dress, as the pugarees of Cameron and Tyler fluttered ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... was hewn from marble so pure and white that even now, after all those ages, it shone as the moonbeams danced upon it, and its height was, I should say, a trifle over twenty feet. It was the winged figure of a woman of such marvellous loveliness and delicacy of form that the size seemed rather to add to than to detract from its so human and yet more spiritual beauty. She was bending forward ...
— She • H. Rider Haggard

... he, "beyond a touch of the I-don't-know-what-you-call-its. I feel like there was going to be earthquakes or music or a trifle of chills and fever or maybe a picnic. I don't know how I feel. I feel like knocking the face off a policeman, or else maybe like playing Coney Island straight across the board from ...
— The Voice of the City • O. Henry

... are not free-traders at Belfontaine," he laughed. At which I shook my head again, feeling a trifle ashamed of our uncommon virtue, which could not, I thought, commend itself to so notorious ...
— Carette of Sark • John Oxenham

... it is the same if you go southwards into the adjacent district of Coorg, and when you compare the last mentioned tracts with Manjarabad you then begin to realize the fact that nature, if left to herself, is apt to become a trifle monotonous. But in Manjarabad man has invaded nature to beautify her and bring her to perfection—cutting down and turning eventually into stretches of grass much of the original forest—leaving blocks of from 50 to 200 acres of wood on the margin of each group of houses, ...
— Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore • Robert H. Elliot

... said Muriel, with a trifle of impatience, "you know quite well what I think about all that sort of thing. We have talked it over hundreds of times. Here we are, stuck down in the middle of all this, with nothing in the world to do but amuse ourselves, if we can, and never any chance of pushing along. We have ...
— The Squire's Daughter - Being the First Book in the Chronicles of the Clintons • Archibald Marshall

... of all details, he should not be mastered by them. If I have sometimes seemed to dwell upon trifling or obvious suggestions as to temper, or conduct, or methods, let it be remembered that trifles make up perfection, and that perfection is no trifle. ...
— A Book for All Readers • Ainsworth Rand Spofford

... two miles, but Fred did not mind that. The prize for which he was striving was too great for him to shrink from such a trifle ...
— The Erie Train Boy • Horatio Alger

... day for a month, came in with a little package in his hand. Tremblingly he unwrapped it, and handed the articles to the pawnbroker, saying, 'Give me ten cents.' And, boys, what do you suppose that package was? A pair of baby's shoes; little things with the buttons only a trifle soiled, as if they had been worn once or twice. 'Where did you get them?' asked the pawnbroker. 'Got 'em at home,' replied the man, who had an intelligent face and the manner of a gentleman, despite his sad condition. 'My wife bought 'em for our baby. Give me ten cents for 'em. I want a ...
— Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes • J. M. Judy

... looks a trifle sly, He smiles and smiles, I wonder why? Perhaps he's playing at a game, Or thinking of his long, ...
— Little People: An Alphabet • T. W. H. Crosland

... perfectly in the right of it:' as you shall judge—" "Nay, madam," said I, "I am judge already, and tell you that you are perfectly in the wrong of it; for if it was a matter of importance, I know he has better sense than you; if a trifle, you know what I told you on your wedding day, that you were to be above little provocations." She knows very well I can be sour upon occasion, therefore gave me ...
— Isaac Bickerstaff • Richard Steele

... they can have any sympathy for little common heartaches and headaches, though, when to be run through the body is such a trifle. They can't, I ...
— Daisy in the Field • Elizabeth Wetherell

... said to me: "Is it possible that the great God of the universe, the Maker and Ruler of mankind, could or would, as you would make out, take interest in such a trifle as the trimming of a hat! ...
— How I Know God Answers Prayer - The Personal Testimony of One Life-Time • Rosalind Goforth

... frenzied fanaticism as exists among the Mormons in Utah. This is the first rebellion which has existed in our Territories, and humanity itself requires that we should put it down in such a manner that it shall be the last. To trifle with it would be to encourage it and to render it formidable. We ought to go there with such an imposing force as to convince these deluded people that resistance would be vain, and thus spare the effusion of blood. We can in this manner best convince them ...
— State of the Union Addresses of James Buchanan • James Buchanan

... large basket and an umbrella. They do not consider a hat or a stuff gown necessary, for they are not in the least ashamed of being servants. Some years ago they made no attempt to dress like ladies when they went out for themselves, and even now what they do in this way is a trifle compared to the extravagant get-up of an English cook or parlour-maid on a Sunday afternoon. A German girl in service is always saving with might and main to buy her Aussteuer, and as she gets very low wages it takes her a long time. She needs about ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... paused; then struck the ground with his stick sharply. "There, there; I understand. You think I'll tell? Gad-a-mercy, madam, I am a gentleman. And my boy Sam doesn't interest you? Yes, yes; I see that now. Why, perhaps I've been a trifle harsh? I shall say nothing to Lavendar, ...
— The Awakening of Helena Richie • Margaret Deland

... greatest happiness in the world," and then disregarding the old gentleman's protestations with smiling good-humour, he forced the money into his hand, and went on volubly, "You see, sir, it's only a trifle—six pounds—and of no earthly use to me, especially as I'm off to sea again. So pray do ...
— Edward Barry - South Sea Pearler • Louis Becke

... stunned. A trifle, indeed, to cut off a man's, or even an innocent child's, head for no reason whatever! In wrath he tore off the sheet enveloping the victim's head, and behold! before him stood Ivas. The poor child crossed his little hands, and hung his head. Peter flew at the witch with the knife ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... days had passed, allowing them to settle down into tolerable quiet, but not too much of it, for Elsie could not endure that. Society was her element; trifle and champagne seemed her natural nourishment, and she drooped so quickly if compelled to seclusion, that, with his usual weakness where she was concerned, Mellen relinquished his own desires ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... here, and you come to the office again the day after to-morrow at four o'clock in the afternoon. Very likely by that time there will be something definite to report to you." The commissioner hesitated, and looked a trifle embarrassed. "You said your husband had insured his life for $5,000. Do you know whether the premiums have been kept paid upon ...
— Roads of Destiny • O. Henry

... position of leader which it had secured him. Moreover he was democratic in his tastes, and had a jealous hatred of those who wore good clothes and kept their faces clean. He called it putting on airs, and resented the implied superiority. If he had been fifteen years older, and had a trifle more education, he would have interested himself in politics, and been prominent at ward meetings, and a terror to respectable voters on election day. As it was, he contented himself with being the leader of a gang of young ruffians, over whom ...
— Ragged Dick - Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks • Horatio Alger

... friend In youth's bright sunshine glowing: Some friendly token I would send, Some trifle, worth ...
— The Poets and Poetry of Cecil County, Maryland • Various

... or carry infection," insisted lord Gartley, perhaps a little glad of the height upon which an opportunity of finding fault set him for the first time above her. "But there is no time to talk about it now. I hope you will use what preventives you can. It is very wrong to trifle with ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... toyed with some trifle on the table, looked up and smiled, looked down and dropped ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... the comfortable assurance that a meaning does lie in the passage, and may by industry be got at; that a faithful editor's industry had already got at it before passing on. A compendious useful Glossary is given; nearly adequate to help the uninitiated through: sometimes one wishes it had been a trifle larger; but, with a Spelman and Ducange at your elbow, how easy to have made it far too large! Notes are added, generally brief; sufficiently explanatory of most points. Lastly, a copious correct Index; which no such Book should want, and which unluckily ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... had charmed shot forth its head, snapped at that spinning trifle—and swallowed it. Then the fork-tail hunched in a posture Shann had seen the wolverines use when they were about to spring. The weaponless Wyvern was the prey, and both her companions were too far ...
— Storm Over Warlock • Andre Norton

... have any scruple in accepting the enclosed trifle, as it is considered only as a small tribute of gratitude and kindness, so small, indeed, that every precaution has been taken to prevent the least chance of discovery ; and the person who sends it even will never know whether it was received or not. Dr. Burney ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 3 • Madame D'Arblay

... would be at hand to help her? Surely his opportunity had come at last, and marriage by capture did not occur to him, who had spent so many years among savages, as a crime from which to shrink. Only he feared that the prospective captive, the Inkosazana-y-Zoola, was not one with whom it was safe to trifle. But his love was stronger than his fear. He thought that ...
— The Ghost Kings • H. Rider Haggard

... my lone old age. Ah, senors, had we not had warning of the coming of these wretches from my dear friend the Marquess of Santa Cruz, whom I remember daily in my prayers, we had been like to them who go down quick into the pit. I too might have saved a trifle, had I been minded: but in thinking too much of others, I ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... of course. Lonnie could see out, but the suit could also be seen. That required sometimes intricate advance planning to offset. Also, occasionally, manipulating the field of the grid to permit mechanical contact with the physical world was a trifle cumbersome but never annoyingly so. All it took was a modicum of step-by-step thought and some care not to leave a personal trace for the quantum analyzer to pick up. No actual trouble. And, finally, Moglaut had warned that the compact power unit pocketed ...
— Zero Data • Charles Saphro

... his money's power to buy him immunity from family annoyances one of its chief values. She, and everyone else, thought she ruled him; in fact, she not only did not rule him, but had not even influence with him in the smallest trifle of the matters he ...
— The Second Generation • David Graham Phillips

... way—to take things quietly when convinced that there was no chance to better them. He would always do his best about the smallest trifle; but after that, be the matter small or great, he had a smiling face for the ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... him, puttin' on my hat. "I hate to cop a sucker bet like this, but maybe losin' it will reduce the size of your head a trifle ...
— Alex the Great • H. C. Witwer

... draught from the port-holes fore and aft, besides serving also as an ante-room to the doctor's cabin and surgery. From this inner apartment would emerge ever and anon some culprit marine or shamefaced seaman, trying to walk steady, who, having perhaps been a trifle too jolly overnight and pleading indisposition as an excuse for his inability to attend to his duties, had been brought before the doctor for treatment— only, alas! to receive a dose of pungent satire, in lieu of the soothing medicine ...
— Crown and Anchor - Under the Pen'ant • John Conroy Hutcheson

... precious metal 'in fetish,' with the penalty of blindness to all who worked it. A Danish governor once filled his pockets, and recovered sight only by throwing away the plunder. A brother of the Ada chief offered to show this magic-fenced placer to the late Mr. Nicol Irvine, moyennant the trifle of 50l. The transaction reminded me of the Hindu alchemist who asks you ten rupees to make a ton ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... generals to a dinner, at which the whole of the dishes placed before them were of gold, set with precious stones, and the room and the twelve couches were ornamented with purple and gold. On his praising the splendour of the sight, as passing anything he had before seen, she said it was a trifle, and begged that he would take the whole of it as a gift from her. The next day he again dined with her, and brought a larger number of his friends and generals, and was of course startled to see a costliness which made that of the day before seem nothing; and she again ...
— History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 10 (of 12) • S. Rappoport

... most to her poetic sensibility. We follow the leading characters of the age through the ten-volume romances of Mlle. de Scudery, which have mostly long since fallen into oblivion. Doubtless the portraits are a trifle rose-colored, but they accord, in the main, with more veracious history. The Grande Mademoiselle describes herself and her friends, with the curious naivete of a spoiled child who thinks its smallest experiences of interest to all the world. Mme. de Maintenon gives us another picture, more ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... valuable an acquisition, refused to comply with the king's demand, and fortified his castle. Enraged at the disappointment, Richard relinquished the important affairs in which he was engaged, and laid siege to this castle with all the eagerness of a man who has his heart set upon a trifle. In this siege he received a wound from an arrow, and it proved mortal; but in the last, as in all the other acts of his life, something truly noble shone out amidst the rash and irregular motions of his mind. The castle was taken before ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... creatures going? What drew them? Was this an exodus, or a morning habit? I must wait for the sun! Till he came I must not leave the woman! I laid my hand on the body, and could not help thinking it felt a trifle warmer. It might have gained a little of the heat I had lost! it could hardly have generated any! What reason for hope there ...
— Lilith • George MacDonald

... says Peterby, retreating a few paces and with his head to one side the better to observe its effect, "your cravat is, I fear, a trifle too redundant in its lower folds, and a little ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... cold; here rare you in your comfortable home, surrounded with luxury and dease, and you turn a deaf ear to the cause si plead, and let me toil in vain. No! I cannot gaze upon your good, kind face, and believe in such callous sardness ... The smallest trifle, if it be but ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... for what reason all the White Nile tribes extract the four front teeth of the lower jaw. Were the meat of the country tender, the loss of teeth might be a trifle; but I have usually found that even a good set of grinders are sometimes puzzled to go through the operation needful to a Latooka beefsteak. It is difficult to explain real beauty; a defect in one country is a desideratum in another; scars upon the face are, in Europe, a blemish; but here and ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... off all they could from the houses which were still standing and from the ruins of the others. The agility with which these Indians move about among the ruins and escape the falling walls is something wonderful, and they never hesitate to risk their lives for a very trifle. ...
— Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror • Richard Linthicum

... little poems which form his book destitute of the peculiar touch of phrasing, the eternising influence of style, which characterises the poetry of this particular period so remarkably. The subject may be the merest trifle, the thought a hackneyed or insignificant one. But the amber to enshrine the fly is always there in larger or smaller, in clearer or more clouded, shape. There has often been a certain contempt (connected no doubt with certain general critical errors as they seem to me, ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... to thank you for a good deal," he told her a trifle huskily. "Men of all nations are better for being admitted to the friendship of women like you. If there were anything I could do to serve you?..." and he waited for her ...
— The Rhodesian • Gertrude Page

... waiting. His eyebrows rose at the sight of Copper in formal Betan dress—and lifted a trifle more at the sight ...
— The Lani People • J. F. Bone

... save for a trifle of hemming and hawing. To express any particular optimism at this time they felt to be childish and stupid, but they all doubtless possessed this sense of the situation in their mind. A young man thinks doggedly at such times. On the other hand, the ethics of their condition ...
— Men, Women, and Boats • Stephen Crane

... gammon you do talk. If he lose the boat, don't we lose the tin? Besides, are we agoin' to let sich a trifle stand in the way o' us an' ...
— The Golden Dream - Adventures in the Far West • R.M. Ballantyne

... Sultana Sea Kale Soup, Barley Celery Chestnut Convalescent's Soup, French Fruit Haricot Lentil Macaroni Pea Potato P. R. Sago Tomato Vegetable Stock Spinach Stock Summer Pudding Sunday and Monday Swede Tomato Sauce Soup Stuffed Toad-in-the-hole Turnip Treacle Pudding Trifle Unfired Food Useful Utensils Vegetable Curry Marrow Stuffed and Nut Roast Pie Stew Stock Vegetables, to Cook Wallace Cheese Warming Up Weights and Measures Welsh Rarebit Xmas Pudding Yeast Bread Yorkshire Pudding ...
— The Healthy Life Cook Book, 2d ed. • Florence Daniel

... coming in just as the merriment over the Minstrel's little joke had died away. Ashby's voice—quick, sharp and decisive was that of a man accustomed to ordering men, but his manner was suave, if a trifle gruff. Moreover, he was a man of whom it could be said, paradoxical as it may seem, that he was never known to be drunk nor ever known to be sober. It was plain from his appearance that he had been some time on ...
— The Girl of the Golden West • David Belasco

... distinctions of rank, I might, with equal propriety, require you to give me the title of noble lord of Kuhleborn, or free lord of Kuhleborn; for I am as free as the birds in the forest, and, it may be, a trifle more so. For example, I now have something to tell that young lady there." And before they were aware of his purpose, he was on the other side of the priest, close to Undine, and stretching himself high into the air, in order to ...
— Undine - I • Friedrich de la Motte Fouque

... to us unarmed. If no further trade is to be expected with them, what should it matter much to take six or eight thousand beasts from them." But the most delightful of all Boer customs was the custom of flogging by pipes. If a Hottentot proved a trifle unruly, he was thrashed, while his master, looking on with a gluttonous eye, smoked a fixed number of pipes; and the wreathing smoke and the writhing Hottentot brought balm unto ...
— History of the Moravian Church • J. E. Hutton

... fresh laddie gude," quoth Tom, a trifle abashed but ready to stand by his guns, "I'm thenkin' he's one of them what feels they owns the airth, an' is bound to step on all worms of the dust whut comes in thur wy. But Jim, mon, we better be steppin' on, fer tomorra's the Sawbeth ya ken, an' it wuddent be gude for our ...
— The City of Fire • Grace Livingston Hill

... is going to have a snap." Mrs. Brunswick, eager, peering, a trifle vindictive, offered final opinion. "The girls aren't going to let a boy like your Hugo get away. Not nowadays, the way they run after them like crazy. All they think about is dress and ...
— Half Portions • Edna Ferber

... tell us that anyone who discovers the ship," Toryl explained, a trifle impatient, "will show a remarkable degree of curiosity before they display ...
— Jubilation, U.S.A. • G. L. Vandenburg

... naturally take place; and what is that but the foundation if not the formation of an aristocracy. An American cannot entail his estate, but he can leave the whole of it to his eldest son if he pleases; and in a few years, the lands which have been purchased for a trifle, will become the foundation of noble fortunes [see Note 2] but even now their law of non-entail does not work as ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... in the appearance of the Shed by night. In the daytime there were long rows of windows in the roof, which let in a vague, dusky, inadequate twilight. At night those windows were shuttered. This meant that the shadows were a little sharper and the contrasts of light and shade a trifle more abrupt. All other changes that Joe could see were the normal ones due to the taking down of scaffolding and the fastening up of rocket tubes. It was clear that the shape of the Platform proper would be obscure when all its rocket tubes ...
— Space Platform • Murray Leinster

... you might do so," answered Myrtilus; "for they are not powerless to those who from the first assumed that they can do nothing in opposition to those changeless laws. The state, too, rules according to them, and the wise king who refrains from interfering with them in the smallest trifle can therefore wield the sceptre with mighty power. So, in my opinion, it is perfectly allowable to expect aid from the gods. But we will let that pass. A healthy man, full of exuberant vigour like yourself, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... seemed to him that she even had considered how to wear with extraordinary effect the brilliant, vari-coloured kimono draped about her. The only criticism of her possible was that, perhaps, she seemed a trifle too imperious—but, for his part, ...
— No Clue - A Mystery Story • James Hay

... 9 to 9.55 inches. A trifle smaller than the robin. Male — In full plumage, glossy black with metallic reflections, intermixed with rusty brown that becomes more pronounced as the season advances. Pale straw-colored eyes. Female — Duller plumage and more rusty, inclining to gray. ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... half-a-crown for seeing all that I had seen, with a trifle to my guide; for it seems he does not get the half- crown, but is obliged to account for it to his master, who lives very comfortably on the revenue he derives from this cavern, and is able to keep a man to show ...
— Travels in England in 1782 • Charles P. Moritz

... trifle of three hundred a year, and no provision for the education or maintenance of the boy. Ulick's fondness for him, more than all, showed him capable of the disinterested touch; but then to belie his own heart— to abandon him he bred a favourite, just when the boy wants him ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... Baccalaureatus in Artibus, and he wid not so much as a dacint stone over his grave to commemorate his name, that was the most illusthrious Polymath in the county Sligo, wid more larnin' in the tip of his ear than ever I got into me ould skull. Never a hap'orth of good was I at anythin' except the trifle of mathematics, but he was as great at the Classics.... I used to humbug meself somewhiles lettin' on I hankered after it because it would ha' gratified him maybe to hear of the event. But little I ever done to plase him, God forgive me. Let alone goin' and makin' an ould fool of meself up at ...
— Strangers at Lisconnel • Barlow Jane

... continued, "friendship here and what goes for friendship outside are vastly different. The matter of devoting one's life to a friend or to a duty, real or fancied, is only a trifle to these men who abide in the wilderness. I know of a Chinaman and a Cree who lived and died the most devoted friends. You see the Missourian hovering about the last camping-place of his companion. Behold the factor! He has left the Hudson Bay Company after thirty years because he has lost his ...
— The Last Spike - And Other Railroad Stories • Cy Warman

... in what it consists. When a band of Indians arrive at a trading post, each individual is presented with a few inches of tobacco; here (at Fort Simpson) in winter we add a fish to each. After their furs are traded, a few flints, awls, and hooks, and a trifle of ammunition is given them, in proportion to their hunts, and then—"Va-t-en." This is about the average amount of "generosity" they receive throughout the country; varied, however, by the differences of disposition ...
— Notes of a Twenty-Five Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory - Volume II. (of 2) • John M'lean

... advantage of this circumstance to ogle the women. Thanks to the cares of Mousqueton, the exterior was far from announcing the distress of the interior. His hat was a little napless, his feather was a little faded, his gold lace was a little tarnished, his laces were a trifle frayed; but in the obscurity of the church these things were not seen, and Porthos was still ...
— The Three Musketeers • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... was doubtless by its author considered as a trifle, but it is not a happy trifle. In the first stanza, "the azure flowers THAT blow" show resolutely a rhyme is sometimes made when it cannot easily be found. Selima, the cat, is called a nymph, with some violence both to language and sense; but there is no good use made ...
— Lives of the Poets: Gay, Thomson, Young, and Others • Samuel Johnson

... who has had occasion to deal with them, are generally distinguished by an insane desire for money, by the wildest over-estimates of the wealth which their inventions will ultimately bring them, or by a greed which will sell them for a trifle, provided this be paid immediately. In the second place, inventions, even the greatest, so long as they represent the power of invention merely, are utterly deficient in all practical value. So long as they exist nowhere except in the author's brain, or drawings, or in descriptions, ...
— A Critical Examination of Socialism • William Hurrell Mallock

... to myself, as with a kind of fascination I eagerly looked at the line which marked the gaping mouth showing plainly in an ugly smile; then at the dull creamy-brown and grey markings, and the scales which covered the skin, here and there looking worn and crumpled, and as if it was a trifle too big for the creature that wore it as if it ...
— Mass' George - A Boy's Adventures in the Old Savannah • George Manville Fenn

... while, in an innocent mood, Moppin' his brow ('cos 'twas a trifle sweaty) With a blue kerchief—lo, he spies a white 'un ...
— Green Bays. Verses and Parodies • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... strolling crowd, the same perpetual miracle of motors dodging through it harmlessly, escaping headlong into the country from the Sabbatical stuffiness behind and below them. There was a band still, a women's suffrage meeting—for the suffrage women had won their way back to the tolerance, a trifle derisive, of the populace again—socialist orators, politicians, a band, and the same wild uproar of dogs, frantic with the gladness of their one blessed weekly release from the back yard and the chain. And away along the road to the Spaniards strolled a vast multitude, ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... but a trifle of my letter written yet; what shall Presto do for prattle-prattle, to entertain MD? The talk now grows fresher of the Duke of Ormond for Ireland; though Mr. Addison says he hears it will be in commission, and Lord Galway(11) one. These letters of mine are a sort of ...
— The Journal to Stella • Jonathan Swift

... any single man. Each is, in fact, a fiend, and not a human being. It was thus only that Bracciolini could show us in its true light the Church of Rome as it acted in his day. In the language of Wickliffe it was the "Synagogue of Satan." A mere trifle was it that reprobates in the form of bishops and priests ordained, consecrated and sacrificed. See the Church at an Oecumenical Council; then it capped the climax of cruelty and crime; it resorted to demoniacal subterfuge ...
— Tacitus and Bracciolini - The Annals Forged in the XVth Century • John Wilson Ross

... interested now, and, perhaps a trifle uneasy, lest by any possibility some knowledge of Percy's escapades should have come to Miss Trevor and might by her be incautiously betrayed to Colonel and Mrs. Rush. She turned rather an anxious eye upon the old lady, wishing that she ...
— Bessie Bradford's Prize • Joanna H. Mathews

... fresh-water seas, very soon convinces a traveller to the contrary; for it is the most turbulent and the most troublesome sea I ever embarked upon—a region of vexed waters, to which the Bermoothes of Shakespeare is a trifle; for that is bad enough, but not half so treacherous ...
— Canada and the Canadians - Volume I • Sir Richard Henry Bonnycastle

... were served amongst other things with red mullet, stuffed tomatoes and quail—all excellent of their sort and admirably prepared. Red mullet, tomates farcies and quail appeared again for breakfast and were not to be despised, but red mullet, tomates farcies and quail for luncheon, began to be a trifle tiresome, and when all three appeared again at dinner and at the next day's breakfast and luncheon, there were some of us who began to hunger for a change. We made a little party and we went across to the Valori restaurant. Here we encountered a polyglot major-domo, ...
— Recollections • David Christie Murray

... the serious face upon the youngster, but the conviction which he threw into his words choked my mirth. Whether it was the little brush with the Kanaka or the gloomy forebodings of the boy I couldn't tell, but I felt a trifle anxious after my ...
— The White Waterfall • James Francis Dwyer

... used to traveling, for she would lift a tiny finger to summon the waiter, and gave him her orders with all the savoir-faire of an experienced diner-out. Perhaps her clear-toned treble voice was a trifle too high-pitched for the occasion, and would have been better had it been duly modulated, but her parents seemed proud of her conversational powers and allowed her to talk for the benefit of anybody within ear-shot. That she excited comment was manifest, for many ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... parties to be satisfied—the soldier party and the priest party? The soldier party is Voltairian. Where Canrobert smiles, Riancey makes a wry face. What's to be done? You shall see. Your great jugglers are not embarrassed by such a trifle. The Moniteur one fine morning declares that there will be henceforth but one national fete, the 15th of August. Hereupon a semi-official commentary: the two masks of the Dictator begin to speak. "The 15th of August," says the Ratapoil mouth, ...
— Napoleon the Little • Victor Hugo

... noise for nothing!' I cried, though rather uneasy myself. 'What a trifle scares you! It's surely no great cause of alarm that Heathcliff should take a moonlight saunter on the moors, or even lie too sulky to speak to us in the hay-loft. I'll engage he's lurking there. See if I ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... at least the reality of death; their dejection at the thought of leaving this fair abode of our common daylight—le beau sejour du commun jour—is expressed by them with almost wearisome reiteration. But with this sentiment too they are able to trifle: the imagery of death serves for delicate ornament, and they weave into the airy nothingness of their verses their trite reflexions on the vanity of life; just as the grotesques of the charnel-house nest themselves, together ...
— The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Pater

... said, "to trifle with the truth is always unpleasant. Besides, you are a Fentolin, and our love of truth is proverbial. But there are times, you know, when for the good of others we must sacrifice our scruples. So you told ...
— The Vanished Messenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... my name on the title-page of this trifle from principle. My pen-children are all mine, and I cannot think of disowning one, though it may happen to be born hump-backed. But I beg of you, gentlest of unfortunate readers, not to take DAISY'S NECKLACE as a serious exponent ...
— Daisy's Necklace - And What Came of It • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... Harry, look here. Will she accept a little present from me? You, at any rate, for my sake, will ask her to do so. Give her this—it is only a trifle," and she put her hand on a small jeweler's box which was close to her arm upon the table, "and tell her—of course she knows ...
— The Claverings • Anthony Trollope

... to die. It was a chill, perhaps, with a trifle of fever on top of that, and it carried her off like a candle-flame when it is blown out. She died well— very well indeed. None of your whimpering and moaning and slinking out of the back-door of life when nobody is looking; nor that unconscious death that ...
— Vrouw Grobelaar and Her Leading Cases - Seventeen Short Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... county," the man proceeded, "wish the horse was led by some other officer. For my part, if I could only be covered by a troop now and then, I could do many an important piece of service to the cause, to which this capture of the peddler would be a trifle." ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... a grasping trader, but I provided myself before setting out with every worthless gew-gaw and flashy trifle that could tempt the native to betray Indian secrets. Lest these should fail, I added to my stock a dozen as fine new flint-locks as could corrupt the soul of an Indian, and without consideration for the enemy's scalp also equipped myself ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut



Words linked to "Trifle" :   item, trifle away, trivia, expend, trifling, deal, object, trifler, toy, take, bagatelle, behave, spend, fluff, do, pud, drop, act, pudding, look at, tipsy cake, dally, wanton away, flirt, consider, physical object, frippery, point, frivolity, detail



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