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Trivial   /trˈɪviəl/   Listen
Trivial

adjective
1.
(informal) small and of little importance.  Synonyms: fiddling, footling, lilliputian, little, niggling, petty, picayune, piddling, piffling.  "A footling gesture" , "Our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war" , "A little (or small) matter" , "A dispute over niggling details" , "Limited to petty enterprises" , "Piffling efforts" , "Giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction"
2.
Of little substance or significance.  Synonym: superficial.  "Only trivial objections"
3.
Concerned with trivialities.  "A trivial mind"



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"Trivial" Quotes from Famous Books



... hint, and said artfully, "Mine was a thoughtless remark: of course a gentleman of your experience can test the mind on any subject, however trivial." He added piteously, "Still, if you would but leave the poets, who are all half crazy themselves, and examine me in the philosophers of Antiquity. Surely it would ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... different story there would have been to tell had someone had that thought only half an hour earlier! But it is often so. The most trivial miscalculation, the most insignificant mistake, seemingly, may prove to be of the most vital importance. Dick went to the telephone. It was one of the old-fashioned sort, still in almost universal use in the ...
— Facing the German Foe • Colonel James Fiske

... Constitution. There can accordingly be no doubt, Gentlemen, that precisely this was the intention of this provision of the Constitution; namely, that the prerogative was to be conceded to science that it should not lie under the limitations which the general criminal code imposes upon every-day, trivial ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... Aurilly, "you have trivial ideas, and I fear we shall never understand each other; I have preferred kindness to violence, but if you force me to change my plans, well! I will ...
— The Forty-Five Guardsmen • Alexandre Dumas

... neighbor, he found the dark glasses focused upon himself with such fixity that he responded with a friendly nod, and, making some trivial remark, found Mr. Mannering not at all averse to conversation. A few commonplaces were exchanged until the arrival of Mr. Rosenbaum's ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... with the people, except such as ministered to a corrupt taste, like demoralizing pictures and inflammatory music. Why did not the arts maintain the severity of the Grecian models? Why did philosophy degenerate to Epicureanism? Why did poetry condescend to such trivial subjects as hunting and fishing? Why did, the light of truth become dim? Why were the great principles of beauty lost sight of? Why the discrepancy between the laws and the execution of them? Why was every triumph of genius perverted? It was because men, in their wickedness, were indifferent ...
— The Old Roman World • John Lord

... knowing what else to do he put on his hat and went for a walk. Later he went to the shop and tried to work, but his hand trembled when he tried to hold a tool and the hay-loading apparatus on which he was at work seemed suddenly a very trivial and unimportant thing. ...
— Poor White • Sherwood Anderson

... unwomanly vulgarity. The baseness that was in her took at least a more delicate exterior. She wrote to him simply and distantly, to state that there were some books and trifles of hers left at Laughton, which she prized beyond their trivial value, and to request, as she believed him to be absent from the Hall, permission to call at her old home, in her way to a visit in a neighbouring county, and point out to whomsoever he might appoint to meet her, the effects she deemed herself privileged to claim. The ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... forever. Such a person moves on, perchance, like a deep, noble river, in calm and silence, but still moves on, inevitably destined to lose himself in the common ocean. And this was the promise of Clarian's case. Whatever was his hidden woe, however trivial its rational results, or baseless its causes, it had beyond remedy seized upon his soul, and we knew, that, unless it could be done away with at the source, the end was certain: first the fury, then the ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... landscape in a dream—by the deepening twilight. An immense repose pervaded the whole scene. It affected Katherine to a certain seriousness. Her social excitements and responsibilities, the undoubted success that had attended her maiden essay as hostess during the past week, shrank to trivial proportions. Another order of emotion arose in her. She became sensible of a necessity ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... round Stephen's Green and then down Grafton Street. Though his eyes took note of many elements of the crowd through which he passed they did so morosely. He found trivial all that was meant to charm him and did not answer the glances which invited him to be bold. He knew that he would have to speak a great deal, to invent and to amuse and his brain and throat were too dry for such a task. The problem of how he could pass the hours till he met Corley again ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... seem to some unimportant, negligible, even trivial. At any rate, it would be inevitable; since no one is wild enough to believe that Porto Rico can be turned back to Spain, or bartered away, or abandoned by the generation that took it. But make its people citizens now, and you have already made it, potentially, a State. Then behind ...
— Problems of Expansion - As Considered In Papers and Addresses • Whitelaw Reid

... health and efficiency? If health is, then, so important to the individual and society, its pursuit is not a selfish or a trivial matter; it is rather a serious and unavoidable duty. The gospel of health is sorely needed in our modern world. Young men and women use up their apparently limitless capital with heedless waste; those who start with a lesser inheritance neglect the means at their command ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... divine help sent through her. One might think there was a touch of prophecy in that, and we will let it go at that; but to my mind it had its inspiration in those great men's accurate knowledge of the King's trivial and treacherous character. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... de Rohan to pass judgment upon the honor of women," cried Maria Theresa, exasperated by his lip-morality. "If the French ambassador presumes to come to me with such trivial complaints as I have heard to-day, I will direct my minister in Paris to make representations to the king of another and a more ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... pun-job dangerous as the Indian one. Turned by the current of some stronger wit Back from the object that you mean to hit, Like the strange missile which the Australian throws, Your verbal boomerang slaps you on the nose. One vague inflection spoils the whole with doubt, One trivial letter ruins all, left out; A knot can choke a felon into clay, A not will save him, spelt without the k; The smallest word has some unguarded spot, And danger lurks ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... A trivial circumstance often leads to a marvellous change in the conditions of men, communities, and nations. The playful act of a Boer lad picking up a shining pebble on the banks of the Orange River served as a beacon to lure persons to search for the ...
— Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania • Jewett Castello Gilson

... political power, or for any other cause, the harmony of the glorious Union of our confederated States—that Union which binds us together as one people, and which for sixty years has been our shield and protection against every danger. In the eyes of the world and of posterity how trivial and insignificant will be all our internal divisions and struggles compared with the preservation of this Union of the States in all its vigor and with all its countless blessings! No patriot would foment and excite geographical and sectional divisions. ...
— State of the Union Addresses of James Polk • James Polk

... don't dress at hap-hazard; for dress, so far from being a matter of small consequence, is in reality one of the fine arts,—so far from trivial, that each country ought to have a style of its own, and each individual such a liberty of modification of the general fashion as suits and befits her person, her age, her position in life, and the kind of character she ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866 • Various

... of Substitutions is a large one, if Modifications, as they well may be, are added to it[347]. It will be readily concluded that some substitutions are serious, some of less importance, and many trivial. Of the more important class, the reading of [Greek: hamartematos] for [Greek: kriseos] (St. Mark iii. 29) which the Revisers have adopted in compliance with [Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Delta] and three Cursives, is a ...
— The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels • John Burgon

... out of the conflict defeated but respected. She had received a check in the Black Sea and her frontier line had been readjusted. Still her political losses were trivial. The war most deeply affected Austria. She had played a false game and had lost. The sceptre of European leadership slipped from her. The situation afforded to Bismarck and Cavour the opportunity each was ...
— A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year - Volume Two (of Three) • Edwin Emerson

... taken him far from things of trivial memory, looked at the man and repeated "Joe Johnson. ...
— The Entailed Hat - Or, Patty Cannon's Times • George Alfred Townsend

... the present volume reference is made to a custom prevalent in northern India of employing the family barber to select the boys and girls to be married, it being considered too trivial and humiliating an act for the parents to attend to. In pronouncing such a custom ludicrous and outrageous we must not forget that not much more than a century ago an English thinker, Samuel Johnson, expressed the opinion that marriages might as well be arranged by the Lord Chancellor without consulting ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... sort ravishes them from themselves: but, this perturbation once overcome, we see that they insensibly flag and slacken of themselves, if not to the lowest degree, at least so as to be no more the same; insomuch as that upon every trivial occasion, the losing of a bird, or the breaking, of a glass, we suffer ourselves to be moved little less than one of the common people. I am of opinion, that order, moderation, and constancy excepted, all things are to be done by a man that is very imperfect and ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... upon the gravel at the far side of the garden, but he did not raise his head. His interest in the trivial incidents of everyday life appeared to be ...
— The Slave Of The Lamp • Henry Seton Merriman

... was determined that I should invite the queen, with several of her relations and friends, on board the Discovery, for the purpose of presenting them with some trivial matters, as tokens of my friendship and regard; and that, whilst thus employed, our conversation should be directed to ascertain whether an accommodation was still an object to be desired. That on this appearing to be the ...
— The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, • Murat Halstead

... of disease that fall to the care of the physician are trivial, self-limited, and rapidly recover under even the most crucifying dosages; Nature really winning the victories, the ...
— The No Breakfast Plan and the Fasting-Cure • Edward Hooker Dewey

... he may have viewed with displeasure that despatch of business which was characteristic of the magistrate, Mr. Cooper. An end, at least, has been made of these abuses. Mr. Cooper is henceforth to draw his salary for the minimum of public service; and all larcenies and assaults, however trivial, must go, according to the nationality of those concerned, before the Consular or the ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... And they're right. We are still doing what we have always done. We are using space flight for the boring, the trivial, the stupid; using genius for a toy, like a child banging an atomic watch on the floor. It happened with all our great discoveries and inventions: the gasoline engine, the telephone, the wireless. We've built civilizations of monumental stupidity on the wonders of ...
— The Memory of Mars • Raymond F. Jones

... never forget, to my dying day, the effect produced upon me by the first half of this ascent. The day was as bright and beautiful as ever shone out of heaven. Hot it was, but not intensely so, for the sun's power was yet trivial; and as the winds were hushed, except when from time to time a light breeze rustled among the foliage of the pine-woods, the stillness that prevailed around struck me as something quite sublime. In proportion ...
— Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary, Visited in 1837. Vol. II • G. R. Gleig

... woman chained The turn will come to us as to others—and go The language of party is eloquent The defensive is perilous policy in war The healthy only are fit to live The system is cursed by nature, and that means by heaven The world without him would be heavy matter The weighty and the trivial contended The rider's too heavy for the horse in England The greater wounds do not immediately convince us of our fate The people always wait for the winner The defensive is perilous policy in war The family ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... these are the things, which lie at the heart of mysticism. In the light of this, nothing in the world is trivial, nothing is unimportant nothing is common or unclean. It is the feeling that Blake has crystallised ...
— Mysticism in English Literature • Caroline F. E. Spurgeon

... told, as if she were listening to him, all the facts without forgetting a single detail, mentioning the most trivial matters with the minuteness of a countryman. And the child still kept assailing him, making kicks ...
— A Comedy of Marriage & Other Tales • Guy De Maupassant

... Time. It serves no purpose that the careful clock Mark the appointment, the officious train Hurry to keep it, if the minutes mock Loud in your ear: 'Late. Late. Late. Late again.' Week-end is very well on Saturday: On Monday it's a different affair— A little episode, a trivial stay In some oblivious spot somehow, somewhere. On Sunday night we hardly laugh or speak: Week-end begins ...
— Georgian Poetry 1916-17 - Edited by Sir Edward Howard Marsh • Various

... laws of society. This is why: Great men are the slaves of their work. Their indifference to outer things, their devotion to their work, make simpletons regard them as egotists, and they are expected to wear the same garb as the dandy who fulfils the trivial evolutions called social duties. These men want the lions of the Atlas to be combed and scented like ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... laugh at the extraordinary appearance he presented; but a stronger feeling of interest and sympathy overruled the inclination, and the culprit was spared this humiliation. Richard was almost as much astonished as they were, for he had not regarded a thing so trivial as his personal experience, in the excitement and terror ...
— In School and Out - or, The Conquest of Richard Grant. • Oliver Optic

... praise to vain men—but to make him the companion in cause and in death of so many simple persons according to the world—old men, young men, and poor women—who in that same place (the Place de Greve) had endured fire and knife." D'Aubigne's narrative, as usual, is vivid, and mentions somewhat trivial details, which, however, are additional pledges of its accuracy; e.g., he alludes to the fact that, having spoken as above to those who stood on the side toward the river, he repeated his remarks to those on the other side of the Place de Greve, beginning with the words, "I ...
— History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2 • Henry Baird

... are much more successful in now and then starting a great bore;[I-13] and the others, having left all their own ordinary affairs and subjects of interest at home, were glad to make a matter of importance of the most trivial occurrence. A mighty poet, said the former class—who could it possibly be?—All names were recited—all Britain scrutinized, from Highland hills to the Lakes of Cumberland—from Sydenham Common to St. James's Place—even the Banks of the Bosphorus were ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... that almost beautiful, patience—the quality of her defect of callousness—Ottima leaves this also without comment. She gazes now from the closed window, sees a Capuchin monk go by, and makes some trivial remarks on his immobility at church; then once more offers Sebald the flask—the "black" (or, as we should say, the ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... When nothing which happens, happens except under God's direct responsibility, when nothing is said which is not one of your 'lines' in the drama which is being played, not so much by as through you, there can be no exteriorities, nothing can be trivial, in a record of life so conceived. And this point of view also helps the writer to keep all his details in proportion; the autobiographer's usual fault, artistically at least, being an inordinate valuation of small concerns, because ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... so trivial that will not pass upon some men's consciences to excuse their attendance at the public worship of God. Some are so unfortunate as to be always indisposed on the Lord's day, and think nothing so unwholesome as the air of a church. Others have their affairs so oddly contrived as to be always ...
— Three Sermons, Three Prayer • Jonathan Swift

... recommending him to wrap up carefully in cold and wet weather, and that, like a good son and brother, he followed their advice. Lastly, he objected to smoking. Some of the items of this evidence are very trivial, but taken collectively they have considerable force. Of greater significance are the following additional items. Chopin's sister Emilia was carried off at the age of fourteen by pulmonary disease, and his father, as a physician ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... apparatus of the state. I think that our ministry (though there are things against them which neither you nor I can dissemble, and which grieve me to the heart) is by far the most honest and by far the wisest system of administration in Europe. Their fall would be no trivial calamity. ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. V. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... what she could." That was high praise. She had brought her best to her Lord. Perhaps some of us make too much of our little acts and trivial sacrifices. Little things are acceptable if they are really our best. But Mary's deed was not a small one. The ointment she brought was very costly. She did not use just a little of this precious nard, but poured it all out on the head and feet of Jesus. "What ...
— Personal Friendships of Jesus • J. R. Miller

... proved as ephemeral in England as the cloaks and feathers with which it had crossed the Channel, and we may pass over such trivial literary attempts as those of the Duchess of Newcastle to the writings of Mrs. Manley and Mrs. Behn. These two novelists, if such they may still be called, represent, in narrative fiction, the period which extends from the Restoration to the opening of the eighteenth ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... Trivial as Vane's discovery may seem, it was the result of long months and study of applied science, and certain dearly bought experiences, and though Mr Deering blamed himself for not having noticed the little addition which had thwarted all his plans and brought him to the verge ...
— The Weathercock - Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias • George Manville Fenn

... arms above him, listened with strained senses for news of Halsey's injury or death. For years she had feared that the violence she had seen wreaked upon others would touch her husband; violence offered to herself would have seemed a trivial grief in comparison. The fear that has long harped upon sore nerves has a cumulative action upon the ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... Army Corps were almost invariably confirmed; but they objected strongly to the same measure which they meted out to the men being consistently applied to themselves. They could not be brought to see that neglect of duty, however trivial, on the part of a colonel or brigadier was just as serious a fault as desertion or insubordination on the part of the men; and the conflict of opinion, in ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... school, such as Furius Bibaculus, continued to write during the first few years of the Augustan epoch, but cannot properly be regarded as belonging to it. [7] They pursued their own lines of thought, uninfluenced by the Empire, except in so far as it forced them to select more trivial themes, or to use greater caution in expressing their thoughts. But the great authors who are the true representatives of Augustus's reign, Virgil, Livy, and Horace, were brought into direct contact with the emperor, and much of ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... Mr. Chantrey as if an age had passed over him. As persons who are drowning see in one brief moment all the course of their past lives, with its most trivial circumstances, so he seemed to have looked into his own future, stretching before him in gloom and darkness, and foreseen a thousand miserable results springing from this fatal source. She was his wife, dearer to him than any other object in the world; ...
— Brought Home • Hesba Stretton

... of the two countries ever understanding one another, II 39; concern at our trivial notes, II 67; conversation with, on misunderstandings between America and Great Britain, and the peace settlement, II 165; depressed at tenor of Wilson's note proposing peace, sends him personal letter, II 207; in House of Lords speech welcomes America as ally, II 230; frequent ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... honest to a degree unusual among savages. When Major Abasa traveled among them in the winter of 1865, they sometimes refused compensation for their services, and were scrupulously careful to guard the property of their guests. Once the Major purposely left some trivial articles. The next day a native brought them forward, and was greatly astonished when pay was offered for ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... two or three comparatively trivial adventures. For twelve days they lived upon the juice of the scaltae, after which they fasted for three days. Then a bird brought them a branch of an unknown tree, bearing a bunch of bright red grapes, whereon they lived for four days, and then fasted for ...
— Brendan's Fabulous Voyage • John Patrick Crichton Stuart Bute

... went to trapping in the less settled parts of Nebraska, and for a while he lived in peace, until he fell into a saloon row over some trivial matter and invited four of his opponents outside to fight him with pistols; the four were to fire at the word, and Bill to do the same—his pistol against their four. In this fight he killed one man at first fire, but he himself was shot through the shoulder ...
— The Story of the Outlaw - A Study of the Western Desperado • Emerson Hough

... has proved to be true to a sometimes almost ridiculous extent. The most trivial statement of fact can be relied on, provided it is given outside of trade or enmity or absolute indifference. The Indian loves to fool the tenderfoot. But a sober, measured statement you can conclude is accurate. And ...
— The Forest • Stewart Edward White

... sensation,—all these undoubtedly tend to keep down the level of literary taste. To many readers of good average ability, neither the esthetic nor the purely intellectual makes a strong appeal. Even minds of fine quality often find a welcome diversion in trivial reading. In fact, to expect every one and at all times to have his mind keyed up to the higher levels is neither sincere nor reasonable. And yet, making due allowance for intellectual limitations, for the busy and distracting conditions of modern ...
— Short Stories and Selections for Use in the Secondary Schools • Emilie Kip Baker

... trivial matter for the high-souled maiden to devote herself, with sweet self-sacrifice, to those whose roughness and uncouth manners wounded her. The women, it is true, gladly accepted her aid, but the men, who had ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... lay there the rough loft and its straw seemed to pass away, for the background of his mental picture to become the park and grounds about the old Hall, on one of the old sunny days when he and Scarlett had had a quarrel about some trivial matter, and were gazing threateningly at each other after uttering dire words, and were declaring that everything between them was quite at an end, and that they were never going to speak to ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... being deeply impressed with the fact that the Great Eastern had not up to that time had fair play. In her construction and general arrangements there have been some grave, and numerous more or less trivial errors. From first to last there has been a good deal of gross mismanagement; but the Great Eastern cannot, with justice, be pronounced a failure. Latterly she has done good service in laying ocean telegraph-cables, a species of work for ...
— Man on the Ocean - A Book about Boats and Ships • R.M. Ballantyne

... The weeds in the old garden took on fantastic shapes; figures hid behind the doors and crept about the passages; the rooks in the high elms became birds of ill-omen; the ivy bristled upon the walls, and the trivial explanations of the ...
— Jimbo - A Fantasy • Algernon Blackwood

... is devoted all the little stock of sentimentality which Maria Petrovna possesses. She can talk of them by the hour to any one who will listen to her, and has related to the Popadya a hundred times every trivial incident of their lives. Though they have never given her much cause for anxiety, and they are now men of middle age, she lives in constant fear that some evil may befall them. What she most fears is that they may be sent ...
— Russia • Donald Mackenzie Wallace

... of human arrogance, Commits to trivial chance the fate of nations! While, with incessant thought, laborious man Extends his mighty schemes of wealth and pow'r, And towers and triumphs in ideal greatness; Some accidental gust of opposition Blasts all the beauties of his new ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... sneaker Of punch, could not wrangle more over their liquor. And you that are Goddesses, thus to be squabbling, As if you were bred up to scow'ring and dabbling! And all for a fig, or a fart, or a feather, Or some silly thing that's as trivial as either! For shame, my Fair Goddesses, bridle your passions, And make not in heaven such filthy orations About your bumfiddles; a very fine jest! When the heavens all know, they but stink at the best. Tho' ye think you much mend with your washes the matter, And help the ill-scent with your orange ...
— The Power of Mesmerism - A Highly Erotic Narrative of Voluptuous Facts and Fancies • Anonymous

... Reflect!—'tis the peace of existence you stake On the turn of a die. And for whose—for his sake? While you witness this woman, the false point of view From which she must now be regarded by you Will exaggerate to you, whatever they be, The charms I admit she possesses. To me They are trivial indeed; yet to your eyes, I fear And foresee, they will true and intrinsic appear. Self-unconscious, and sweetly unable to guess How more lovely by far is the grace you possess, You will wrong your own beauty. The graces of art, You will take for the ...
— Lucile • Owen Meredith

... she has selected of her own do her, indeed, much credit; she has discarded all that were trivial and merely local, and given only such as contain something ...
— Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (2nd ed.) (2 vols.) • Mrs. Hester Lynch Piozzi

... those of every author, can afford but a dim and dubious copy of his mind. Nor is it easy to decipher even this, with moderate accuracy. The haze of a foreign language, of foreign manners, and modes of thinking strange to us, confuses and obscures the sight, often magnifying what is trivial, softening what is rude, and sometimes hiding or distorting what is beautiful. To take the dimensions of Schiller's mind were a hard enterprise, in any case; harder ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle

... as a dramatist was due largely to his interest in all things that passed under his notice. Nothing was too trivial to observe. The tragic threads of human life, which escaped the eyes of the passing many or were ignored by them, always aroused his interest and attention; and more than once he had picked up one of these threads and followed it to the end. Out of these seemingly ...
— Half a Rogue • Harold MacGrath

... ether into service as its vehicles of communication. Instead of the old-time masses of metal, or bands of leather, which moved stiffly through ranges comparatively short, there is to-day employed a medium which may traverse 186,400 miles in a second, and with resistances most trivial in contrast ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - Invention and Discovery • Various

... no way diminishes its purposive character. Whether the mind is idealizing an aspect of reality (as in mathematics) or abstracting, classifying, and predicting (as in science), it is always the fact that a particular kind of reality is needed for some serious or trivial purpose which guides the operations of the thinker. A mind which craved to embrace all or 'any' reality need not think; it would do better to float without discrimination upon the flux of change. This procedure would be so absolutely antithetical to human knowing ...
— Pragmatism • D.L. Murray

... this little transaction, however. In some piecemeal fashion, a sentence here, a phrase elsewhere, with scores or hundreds of pages intervening, History does, indeed, make yawning allusion to some such trivial circumstance; refraining from comment in the most well-bred manner imaginable. It is only the ill-affected, the malcontents, who dwell upon such details. Is this not, indeed, a most beautiful world, and ours the land of opportunity, progress, education? Let ...
— Copper Streak Trail • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... live among such peacefulness, forgetting that, though life in the country may look peaceful to the stranger's eye, experience teaches us that gossip and scandal and the continual agitation round and round the trivial—an agitation so great that the trivial becomes colossal—at last rob life of anything resembling dolce far niente mid country lanes and in the shadow of some country church. In fact, it seems to me that the emotion which we seek—the ...
— Over the Fireside with Silent Friends • Richard King

... the East Cliff Hotel at Cromer and made numerous and trivial inquiries about the Cromer golf links. They had come, they volunteered, from Ely for a day of sea-bathing and golf; they were returning after dinner. The head-waiter of the East Cliff Hotel gave them ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... for a while they talked of trivial things—of plays, and books, and people. But every now and then would fall a silence, and their eyes would meet—and hold. Just for a moment or two; just for long enough to make them both realise the futility of the game they were playing. Then they would both speak at once, ...
— Mufti • H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile

... adventures from diametrically different standpoints. One, in fact, was an optimist; the other a pessimist. One found fault with the war for not giving him enough hardship and adventure; the other was entirely fed up with adventures and hardships. This seems a trivial incident to jot down amidst issues so tremendous, but life is life, and my chat with these youngsters put some new life into me. Nearing the shore, I again struck Stopford's Headquarters, now beginning to look habitable. Braithwaite, and one or two others of my Staff turned up from Imbros at ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 • Ian Hamilton

... "I rather think there was something of the sort. The boy's uncle—Captain Stewart—middle-aged, rather prim old party—you'll have met him, I dare say—he intimated to me one day that there had been some trivial row. You see, the lad isn't of age yet, though he is to be in a few months, and so he has had to live on an allowance doled out by his grandfather, who's the head of the house. The boy's father is dead. There's a quaint old beggar, if you like—the grandfather. He was rather a swell in the diplomatic, ...
— Jason • Justus Miles Forman

... you enter and read me? The house is clean and full of goodwill—Come!" But though they never ceased trying, they could never penetrate to those inner chambers. Sometimes—though they might be talking of most trivial matters—the appeal would suddenly grow pathetic, almost plangent, "What is this that shuts me off from you? We sit together and love one another: why am I set apart?" Time was when he had seemed to them consciously reticent, almost of set purpose; ...
— The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... dignity)—If the prisoner is going to put his trust in the saving grace of the elevated cars or the tardy ferry, the Court would prefer not to delay its consomme listening to such trivial excuses. The Court's ...
— Tin-Types Taken in the Streets of New York • Lemuel Ely Quigg

... entered a sylvan world all their own. While he talked, questioning and replying gravely and at leisure, the man was revolving in his mind just what action would be best for the prisoners whose cause he had espoused. As for Judith, she had forgotten that such persons existed, that such trivial mischance as their arrest had just been; she was concerned wholly with the immediate necessity to charm, to ...
— Judith of the Cumberlands • Alice MacGowan

... a matter of world-wide experience, verified by each of us in our own case, if we have ever been honest in the attempt, that the power of self-improvement is limited by very narrow bounds. Any man that has ever tried to cure himself of the most trivial habit which he desires to get rid of, or to alter in the slightest degree the set of some strong taste or current of his being, knows how little he can do, even by the most determined effort. Something may be ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren

... knew that their happiness and comfort for years compelled an adjustment of life. When as at present any one who loses his temper can rush off to a court and get a marriage dissolved for some quite trivial reason, there is small encouragement to practice self-control. If a man and woman know that the consequences of conduct must be faced by them, and cannot be avoided by thrusting them upon others, they will ...
— Our Lady Saint Mary • J. G. H. Barry

... to the errors and passions of human nature, like their fellow creatures. No sister, for instance, ever loved another with stronger affection than poor Maura did her brother Felix, notwithstanding the repeated scoldings which, for very trivial causes, he experienced at her tongue. Woe, keen and scathing, be to those who dared, in her presence to ...
— Lha Dhu; Or, The Dark Day - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... pinning them in his coat with a flushed cheek, or read, with an ecstasy of appreciation, a line from some great writer, marking a meaning he had never found, or laugh at his old riding-clothes, his Southern prejudices, saying once: "To a man of the world like myself, these ideas seem trivial." ...
— Katrine • Elinor Macartney Lane

... removed from some influences and far too closely joined to others. Much of the good of society is walled out from the school by barriers that arise in politics, City ways, all the bad life of the streets, the trivial interests of the day, affect the school too much. We are greatly at fault in all this, because we do not take education as yet seriously enough. There must be now a decision. Either the school must be content to remain what it is now, a local institution performing a very ...
— The Psychology of Nations - A Contribution to the Philosophy of History • G.E. Partridge

... unnerved the orphan that she was less able to cope successfully with this harrowing suspense than on former occasions; still the sanguine hopefulness of youth battled valiantly with the ghouls that apprehension conjured up, and she remembered that comparatively trivial occurrences had sometimes detained the train, which finally brought all its human ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... nursery was not without its annoyances, though as yet of a comparatively trivial kind. Sometimes, at night, the handle of the door was turned hurriedly as if by a person trying to come in, and at others a knocking was made at it. These sounds occurred after the children had settled ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 2 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... difficult for me to express the satisfaction we felt on landing at Angostura, the capital of Spanish Guiana. The inconveniences endured at sea in small vessels are trivial in comparison with those that are suffered under a burning sky, surrounded by swarms of mosquitos, and lying stretched in a canoe, without the possibility of taking the least bodily exercise. In seventy-five days we had performed a passage of five hundred leagues (twenty to a degree) on the five ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... place, hung a series of family portraits. One was of a lovely girl with oval face, olive complexion, and large dark tender eyes: and this was the gem of the whole collection; but it conferred little pleasure on the spectator, owing to a trivial circumstance—it was turned with its face to the wall; and all that met the inquiring eye was an inscription on the canvas, not intended ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... passed there, that good as this establishment might be in itself, it could only be so in a republic, or in a monarchy, like that of England, where the finances are absolutely governed by those who furnish them, and who simply furnish as much or as little as they please; but in a trivial, changing, and more than absolute state like France solidity necessarily is wanting, consequently confidence (at least of a discreet and proper kind): since a king, and under his name, a mistress, a minister, favourites; still more, extreme necessities, such as the deceased King experienced ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... they threatened towns on the coast, and at others they attacked ships on mid-ocean; and they seem to have followed their lawless pursuits at will. When caught, there was little delay in bringing them to trial and securing a conviction; and trivial technicality in forms played no part in reaching results. At times there were multiple executions, and in the community there was no morbid sentimentality shown for the miserable wretches. Not the least of their torture ...
— Piracy off the Florida Coast and Elsewhere • Samuel A. Green

... the Universal is ever with me, but that it is ever with me with ever-active concern. There was a time when it was hard for me to believe that a Mind busied with the immensities of the universe could come down to such trivial affairs as mine. Important as I might be to myself I could hardly be otherwise than lost amid the billions of forms of life which had come into existence through the ages. To the Three in One, on the Great White Throne, ...
— The Conquest of Fear • Basil King

... Allison Sweeney's work undertakes to make a more continuous historical sketch of the achievements from year to year while at the same time guided by the topical plan. At times the author is lofty in his treatment and equally as often trivial. To say that Miller's and Sweeney's works are not scientific does not exactly cover the ground. They do not well measure up to the standard of the average ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919 • Various

... his words and sentences, as well as in his smile, as noiseless as a patent hinge, and in the folds of his eternal waterproof. He was incapable of giving an off-hand answer or opinion on the simplest occasion, and his tone of high deliberation increased in proportion as the subject was trivial or domestic. If his wife asked him at dinner if the potatoes were good, he replied that they were strikingly fine (he used to speak of the newspaper as "fine"—he applied this term to objects the most dissimilar), ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... under the impression that his three attendants had perished in the whirlwind. Happily this was incorrect. Directly he had left for my bungalow they had gone off to the public-house in Lympne to discuss the question of the furnaces over some trivial refreshment. ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... "Don't be trivial. What I mean is this. Scott is an unusual fellow. He's brought himself up from nothing, with only a boost here and there from someone who recognized his worth. He's rough and he's odd, but he has a mind. He will always be a man of importance in ...
— Across the Mesa • Jarvis Hall

... the leader of whom, through the medium of an interpreter, had an interview with the chief. He wished to be permitted to cut sandal-wood, and an agreement was entered into. After a considerable quantity had been cut and sent on board, the chief wanted payment. This was refused on some trivial ground. The savages remonstrated. The white men threatened, and the result was that the latter were driven into their boats. They pulled off to their vessel, loaded a large brass gun that occupied the centre of the schooner's ...
— Sunk at Sea • R.M. Ballantyne

... there be some good men that look sadly on them) are trivial things; first as to the civil concern, because the government, whereof this nation is capable, being once seen, takes in all interests. And, secondly, as to the spiritual; because as the pretence of religion has always been turbulent in broken governments, ...
— The Commonwealth of Oceana • James Harrington

... any fine moral speeches, to herself. She only felt a slight shock, such as a word or a look from one we love too often gives us,—such as a child's trivial gesture or movement makes a parent feel,—that impalpable something which in the slightest possible inflection of a syllable or gradation of a tone will sometimes leave a sting behind it, even in a trusting heart. This was all. But it was true that what she saw ...
— The Guardian Angel • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... said, regarding the three volumes with no very favorable air, "Mighty poor stuff, I should say; just about as weak as they make it. But harmless. Some of the conversation—between the women—is natural; trivial, but natural. The plain truth is, my dear Linn, it is a very foolish, stupid book, which should never have been printed at all; but I suppose your fashionable friend could afford to pay for ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... the advantages proposed, allow me to express a hope that they will be turned to the best possible account. The privilege of the school being free, will not, I trust, tempt parents to withdraw their children from punctual attendance upon slight and trivial occasions; and they will take care, as far as depends upon themselves, that the wishes of the present benefactor may be met, and his intentions fulfilled. Those wishes and intentions I will take upon me to say, ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... been prepared and written. There is no undue invasion, which a son's pride might be apt to make, of domestic privacy, and no dealing with irrelevant topics or elaboration of those set forth with becoming modesty and restraint; far less is there the discussion of any subject, for a trivial or vain purpose. Throughout the work we meet with no unnecessary lifting of veils or treatment of themes merely to satisfy morbid curiosity. Everywhere there is the evidence of sound judgment, unimpeachable taste, and a wholesome sanity. This is especially the case in the ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... excellence but from defect: not because they have a more advanced reason, but because they have a less healthy instinct, than their neighbours. Thus, in those matters which relate to the sense of taste—I am obliged to take this almost trivial instance, because it so well illustrates the principle of the whole question—we hold the consent of men in general to be a good rule. If any one were to choose to feed upon what this common taste had pronounced to be disgusting, we should not ...
— The Christian Life - Its Course, Its Hindrances, And Its Helps • Thomas Arnold

... accessories to dress; and the use of them, except to define its chief terminal outlines, or soften their infringement upon the flesh, is a confession of weakness in the main points of the costume, and an indication of a depraved and trivial taste. When used, they should have beauty in themselves, which is attainable only by a clearly marked design. Thus, the exquisite delicacy of fabric in some kinds of lace does not compensate for the blotchy confusion of the shapeless flower-patterns worked upon it. Not that lace ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various



Words linked to "Trivial" :   frivolous, colloquialism, insignificant, unimportant, trivia



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