something of small importance; or a small quantity
He glanced a trifle apprehensively toward the crowded ball-room.
"Of course I should hate it—so would you," she rejoined, a trifle irritably.
"The fact that they can be offended by such a trifle as Countess Olenska’s going to the house of a woman they consider common."
He could picture the sudden decomposure of her firm placid features, to which a lifelong mastery over trifles had given an air of factitious authority.
Now he was smitten with compunction, yet irritated that so trifling an omission should be stored up against him after nearly two years of marriage.
Behind him, the French windows of the drawing-rooms through which he had passed gave glimpses, between swaying lace curtains, of glassy parquet floors islanded with chintz poufs, dwarf armchairs, and velvet tables covered with trifles in silver.
Its glass shelves were crowded with small broken objects—hardly recognisable domestic utensils, ornaments and personal trifles—made of glass, of clay, of discoloured bronze and other time-blurred substances.
Sometimes he felt as if he had found the clue to his father-in-law’s absorption in trifles; perhaps even Mr. Welland, long ago, had had escapes and visions, and had conjured up all the hosts of domesticity to defend himself against them.
The heavy carpets, the watchful servants, the perpetually reminding tick of disciplined clocks, the perpetually renewed stack of cards and invitations on the hall table, the whole chain of tyrannical trifles binding one hour to the next, and each member of the household to all the others, made any less systematised and affluent existence seem unreal and precarious.
A stormy discussion as to whether the wedding presents should be "shown" had darkened the last hours before the wedding; and it seemed inconceivable to Archer that grown-up people should work themselves into a state of agitation over such trifles, and that the matter should have been decided (in the negative) by Mrs. Welland’s saying, with indignant tears: "I should as soon turn the reporters loose in my house."
There are no more uses of "trifling" identified with this meaning in the book.
Show samples from other sources
Don’t waste my time with trifling matters.
We all agree with the goal, but how to achieve it is not a trifling matter.