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trifle with
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Middlemarch
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trifle with
Used In
Middlemarch
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as in: trifle with her affections Define
to treat somebody or something thoughtlessly or without respect
  • "Good gracious! what dreadful trifling with people’s constitutions!" said Mrs. Taft.
  • Still, the cheers were exhilarating, and no candidate could look more amiable than Mr. Brooke, with the memorandum in his breast-pocket, his left hand on the rail of the balcony, and his right trifling with his eye-glass.

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  • Meanwhile the crowd became denser, and as the political personage neared the end of his speech, Mr. Brooke felt a remarkable change in his sensations while he still handled his eye-glass, trifled with documents before him, and exchanged remarks with his committee, as a man to whom the moment of summons was indifferent.

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  • not a woman to trifle with or ignore
  • The European Parliament refuses to be trifled with.

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as in: a trifling matter Define
something of small importance; or a small quantity
  • "Vincy, if you insist on quarrelling with me, it will be exceedingly painful to Harriet as well as myself," said Mr. Bulstrode, with a trifle more eagerness and paleness than usual.
  • This was not the case with Mr. Farebrother: he seemed a trifle milder and more silent, the chief talker being his mother, while he only put in a good-humored moderating remark here and there.

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  • He contemplated the large well-proportioned letters and final flourish, with his head a trifle on one side for an instant, then handed it to Fred, said "Good-by," and returned forthwith to his absorption in a plan for Sir James Chettam’s new farm-buildings.
  • Lydgate was astounded to find in numberless trifling matters, as well as in this last serious case of the riding, that affection did not make her compliant.
  • It is unkind—it is throwing back my love for you as if it were a trifle, to speak in that way in the face of the fact.
  • Playing at the Green Dragon once or oftener might have been a trifle in another man; but in Lydgate it was one of several signs that he was getting unlike his former self.
  • Also, it must be admitted that Mrs. Garth was a trifle too emphatic in her resistance to what she held to be follies: the passage from governess into housewife had wrought itself a little too strongly into her consciousness, and she rarely forgot that while her grammar and accent were above the town standard, she wore a plain cap, cooked the family dinner, and darned all the stockings.
  • "Now, ladies," said Mr. Trumbull, taking up one of the articles, "this tray contains a very recherchy lot—a collection of trifles for the drawing-room table—and trifles make the sum of human things—nothing more important than trifles—(yes, Mr. Ladislaw, yes, by-and-by)—but pass the tray round, Joseph—these bijoux must be examined, ladies.
  • "Now, ladies," said Mr. Trumbull, taking up one of the articles, "this tray contains a very recherchy lot—a collection of trifles for the drawing-room table—and trifles make the sum of human things—nothing more important than trifles—(yes, Mr. Ladislaw, yes, by-and-by)—but pass the tray round, Joseph—these bijoux must be examined, ladies.
  • "Now, ladies," said Mr. Trumbull, taking up one of the articles, "this tray contains a very recherchy lot—a collection of trifles for the drawing-room table—and trifles make the sum of human things—nothing more important than trifles—(yes, Mr. Ladislaw, yes, by-and-by)—but pass the tray round, Joseph—these bijoux must be examined, ladies.

  • There are no more uses of "trifling" identified with this meaning in the book.

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  • Don’t waste my time with trifling matters.
  • We all agree with the goal, but how to achieve it is not a trifling matter.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: trifle with her affections Define
to treat somebody or something thoughtlessly or without respect
as in: a trifling matter Define
something of small importance; or a small quantity
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