to treat somebody or something thoughtlessly or without respect
I must know it sooner or later; and what purpose can be gained by trifling with the matter for a few minutes, when half the time would put me in possession of all that has occurred?
The landlord hurried into the parlour, without staying for further permission, nor did Nicholas strive to prevent him: wisely considering that supper, under the circumstances, was too serious a matter to be trifled with.
As his courage appeared to be fast failing him, and he trifled with the stopper in a manner which threatened the dismissal of the bottle to its old place, Newman took up one of the little glasses, and clinked it, twice or thrice, against the bottle, as a gentle reminder that he had not been helped yet.
There are no more uses of "trifle with" identified with this meaning in the book.
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not a woman to trifle with or ignore
The European Parliament refuses to be trifled with.
something of small importance; or a small quantity
The very staircase nearly down to the hall-door, was crammed with beautiful and luxurious things, as though the house were brimful of riches, which, with a very trifling addition, would fairly run over into the street.
’I thought that if it was in your power to make me, besides the trifle of money you sent, any compensation—’
’With regard to the trifle of salary that is due,’ said Mr Wititterly, ’I will’—here he was interrupted by a violent fit of coughing—’I will—owe it to Miss Nickleby.’
’When you wrote to acknowledge the receipt of this trifle of money as you call it,’ said Ralph, ’you told me his friends had deserted him long ago, and that you had not the faintest clue or trace to tell you who he was.
He was about two or three and fifty, and a trifle below the middle size; he wore a white neckerchief with long ends, and a suit of scholastic black; but his coat sleeves being a great deal too long, and his trousers a great deal too short, he appeared ill at ease in his clothes, and as if he were in a perpetual state of astonishment at finding himself so respectable.
You and Nicholas are left to me, we are together once again, and what regard can I have for a few trifling things of which we never feel the want?
There was some trifling confusion in obtaining another light; the interval was a mere nothing; but when the light appeared, Ralph Nickleby was gone.
Kate was confused; she toyed with some trifle on the table, looked up and smiled, looked down and dropped a tear.
’A—a trifle, I believe,’ returned Madeline, faintly.
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Mr Wititterly told this with a kind of sober exultation, as if it were no trifling distinction for a man to have a wife in such a desperate state, and Mrs Wititterly sighed and looked on, as if she felt the honour, but had determined to bear it as meekly as might be.
’Mrs Nickleby,’ said that excellent gentleman, lowering his voice, ’there is the most trifling, the most excusable breach of confidence in what I am about to say; and yet if my friend Pyke there overheard it—such is that man’s delicate sense of honour, Mrs Nickleby—he’d have me out before dinner-time.’
How trifling all that had been occupying his time and thoughts for many weeks seemed to him during that sleepless night, and how constantly and incessantly present to his imagination was the one idea that Kate in the midst of some great trouble and distress might even then be looking—and vainly too—for him!
’For a man at all particular in such matters, it might be a trifle too snug,’ said Nicholas; ’for, although it is, undoubtedly, a great convenience to be able to reach anything you want from the ceiling or the floor, or either side of the room, without having to move from your chair, still these advantages can only be had in an apartment of the most limited size.’
At length, and by little and little, omitting something in this place, and adding something in that, Miss Snevellicci pledged herself to a bill of fare which was comprehensive enough, if it had no other merit (it included among other trifles, four pieces, divers songs, a few combats, and several dances); and they returned home, pretty well exhausted with the business of the day.
I wish, too, to see your mother and sister: to know them, Mr Nickleby, and have an opportunity of relieving their minds by assuring them that any trifling service we have been able to do them is a great deal more than repaid by the zeal and ardour you display.
It would have been difficult for any party, family, or otherwise, to have visited the theatre on a night when the phenomenon did NOT play, inasmuch as she always sustained one, and not uncommonly two or three, characters, every night; but Nicholas, sympathising with the feelings of a father, refrained from hinting at this trifling circumstance, and Mr Crummles continued to talk, uninterrupted by him.
’But she can earn money herself, Peg,’ said Arthur Gride, eagerly watching what effect his communication produced upon the old woman’s countenance: ’she can draw, paint, work all manner of pretty things for ornamenting stools and chairs: slippers, Peg, watch-guards, hair-chains, and a thousand little dainty trifles that I couldn’t give you half the names of.
’ "Still wasting the precious hours," said the monk at length, turning to the eldest sister as he spoke, "still wasting the precious hours on this vain trifling.
Sir Mulberry was a little hoarser than on the previous day, and Lord Verisopht looked rather sleepy and queer; from which tokens, as well as from the circumstance of their both being to a trifling extent unsteady upon their legs, Mrs Nickleby justly concluded that they had taken dinner.
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.