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trifle with
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
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trifle with
Used In
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
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as in: trifle with her affections Define
to treat somebody or something thoughtlessly or without respect
  • The thing failed this time, however, so the boys shouldered their tools and went away feeling that they had not trifled with fortune, but had fulfilled all the requirements that belong to the business of treasure-hunting.

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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
  • ...at a point where the Mississippi River was a trifle over a mile wide,
  • Tom was a trifle disconcerted.

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  • Then Tom traded a couple of white alleys for three red tickets, and some small trifle or other for a couple of blue ones.
  • He moped to school gloomy and sad, and took his flogging, along with Joe Harper, for playing hookey the day before, with the air of one whose heart was busy with heavier woes and wholly dead to trifles.
  • The jail was a trifling little brick den that stood in a marsh at the edge of the village, and no guards were afforded for it; indeed, it was seldom occupied.
  • About midnight Tom arrived with a boiled ham and a few trifles, and stopped in a dense undergrowth on a small bluff overlooking the meeting-place.
  • They were perfectly round white things a trifle smaller than an English walnut.
  • But presently it began to flag a trifle, and grow disjointed.
  • He was restive all through it; he kept tally of the details of the prayer, unconsciously —for he was not listening, but he knew the ground of old, and the clergyman’s regular route over it—and when a little trifle of new matter was interlarded, his ear detected it and his whole nature resented it; he considered additions unfair, and scoundrelly.
  • Speak up—just a trifle louder.

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  • A trifle after noon the boys borrowed a small skiff from a citizen who was absent, and got under way at once.
  • A very little boy stood up and sheepishly recited, "You’d scarce expect one of my age to speak in public on the stage," etc.—accompanying himself with the painfully exact and spasmodic gestures which a machine might have used—supposing the machine to be a trifle out of order.
  • Presently the hide-and-seek frolicking began, and Tom and Becky engaged in it with zeal until the exertion began to grow a trifle wearisome; then they wandered down a sinuous avenue holding their candles aloft and reading the tangled web-work of names, dates, post-office addresses, and mottoes with which the rocky walls had been frescoed (in candle-smoke).
  • Then quite a group of boys and girls—playmates of Tom’s and Joe’s—came by, and stood looking over the paling fence and talking in reverent tones of how Tom did so-and-so the last time they saw him, and how Joe said this and that small trifle (pregnant with awful prophecy, as they could easily see now!

  • 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
Show Multiple Meanings
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