trivial

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj trivial (informal) small and of little importance "a fiddling sum of money","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"
    • adj trivial concerned with trivialities "a trivial young woman","a trivial mind"
    • adj trivial of little substance or significance "a few superficial editorial changes","only trivial objections"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Canadians Scott Abbott and Chris Haney invented Trivial Pursuit. They were planning on playing Scrabble and realized that some of the pieces were missing so they came up with the idea of making their own game; Trivial Pursuit
    • Trivial Found anywhere; common.
    • Trivial Of little worth or importance; inconsiderable; trifling; petty; paltry; as, a trivial subject or affair. "The trivial round, the common task."
    • Trivial Of or pertaining to the trivium.
    • n Trivial One of the three liberal arts forming the trivium.
    • Trivial Ordinary; commonplace; trifling; vulgar. "As a scholar, meantime, he was trivial , and incapable of labor."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The word "trivia" comes from the Latin "trivium" which is the place where three roads meet, a public square. People would gather and talk about all sorts of matters, most of which were trivial.
    • trivial Such as may be found everywhere; commonplace; ordinary; vulgar.
    • trivial Trifling; insignificant; of little worth or importance; paltry.
    • trivial Occupying one's self with trifles; trifling.
    • trivial Of or pertaining to the trivium, or the first three liberal arts—grammar, rhetoric, and logic; hence, initiatory; rudimentary.
    • trivial In zoology and botany: Common; popular; vernacular; not technical: noting the popular or familiar names of animals or plants, as distinguished from the technical New Latin names.
    • trivial Specific; not generic: noting what used to be called the nomen triviale—that is, the second or specific term in the binomial technical name of an animal or a plant, such terms being often adopted or adapted from a popular name or epithet. Thus, in the several designations Homo sapiens, Felis leo, Mus muscutus, Rosa canina, the words sapiens, leo, musculus, and canina are respectively the trivial names of the species they designate. See specific, 3 .
    • trivial In echinoderms, specifically, of or pertaining to the trivium: as, the trivial (anterior) ambulacra of a sea-urchin.
    • n trivial One of the three liberal arts which constitute the trivium.
    • n trivial A coefficient or other quantity not containing the quantities of the set considered.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It is a well known trivial fact that Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the moon. However, many do not know that he stepped onto the moon with his left foot.
    • adj Trivial triv′i-al that may be found anywhere, of little importance; trifling: common, vernacular
    • ***

Quotations

  • Julius Caesar
    Julius%20Caesar
    “In war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes.”
  • John Fowles
    John Fowles
    “Duty largely consists of pretending that the trivial is critical.”
  • Andrea Dworkin
    Andrea%20Dworkin
    “While gossip among women is universally ridiculed as low and trivial, gossip among men, especially if it is about women, is called theory, or idea, or fact.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar%20Wilde
    “Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.”
  • Sir Max Beerbohm
    Sir%20Max%20Beerbohm
    “Good sense about trivialities is better than nonsense about things that matter.”
  • Bertrand Russell
    Bertrand%20Russell
    “Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. trivialis, properly, that is in, or belongs to, the crossroads or public streets; hence, that may be found everywhere, common, fr. trivium, a place where three roads meet, a crossroad, the public street; tri-,see Tri-) + via, a way: cf. F. trivial,. See Voyage
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. trivialis, (lit.) 'at the cross-roads or public streets'—trivium, a place where three ways meet—tres, three, via, a way.

Usage

In literature:

They seemed strangely trivial and unmeaning compared to the exhilarating present.
"The Emigrant Trail" by Geraldine Bonner
Such people do not talk about trivialities when they are thinking about much more serious concerns.
"The Mummy and Miss Nitocris" by George Griffith
No matter how trivial.
"The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont" by Robert Barr
Our conversation was trivial, unimportant, but kind and gentle.
"The Fifth Wheel" by Olive Higgins Prouty
They succeeded in obtaining the withdrawal of 6148 complaints, as being trivial, or based upon prejudice or passion.
"Lights and Shadows of New York Life" by James D. McCabe
We needed these trivial occurrences to keep us sane and human.
"Kitchener's Mob" by James Norman Hall
Another unfortunate tendency among the Arabs was their liking for the discussion of many trivial questions.
"Old-Time Makers of Medicine" by James J. Walsh
After a trivial delay of perhaps 40 minutes, the D.C.L.I.
"The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry" by G. K. Rose
They had never appeared more remote and trivial.
"The Coast of Chance" by Esther Chamberlain
To the mean eye all things are trivial, as certainly as to the jaundiced they are yellow.
"Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History" by Thomas Carlyle
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In poetry:

An Ape is but a trivial beast,
Men count it light and vain;
But I would let them have their thoughts,
To have my Ape again.
"The Ape" by Charles Lamb
NAY, blame me not; I might have spared
Your patience many a trivial verse,
Yet these my earlier welcome shared,
So, let the better shield the worse.
"To My Readers" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
X. Oh no! for though the MANY slight,
Thou know'st at least my trivial worth,
For thou (who best canst touch my heart)
Canst call its best vibrations forth.
"The Drawing Room" by Sydney Owenson
To-day's most trivial act may hold the seed
Of future fruitfulness, or future dearth;
Oh, cherish always every word and deed!
The simplest record of thyself hath worth.
"The Past" by Henry Timrod
I dip my hand within the wave;
Ah! how impressionless and cold!
I touch it with my lip, and lave
My forehead in the gold.
It is a trivial thought, but sweet,
Perhaps the wave will kiss thy feet.
"The Stream Is Flowing From The West" by Henry Timrod
Yet strive, ye shepherds! strive to find,
And weave the fairest of the kind,
The prime of all the spring;
If haply thus you lovely fair
May, round her temples, deign to wear
The trivial wreaths you bring.
"A Pastoral Ode. To the Hon. Sir Richard Lyttleton" by William Shenstone

In news:

Christmas cards a font of wisdom, triviality .
We've seen media seize on a parade of trivial statements in campaign.
Obama and Romney campaigns shouldn't trivialize the presidential race.
Beginning with the article's title, "Choo-choo Fantasies" (May 24), Ryan Burns seeks to trivialize the concept of an east-west railroad by ridiculing its potential supporters.
BACK during the Internet boom, there seemed to be no advertising deal or marketing partnership too trivial for America Online to trumpet with a glowing press release.
We'll have this completely trivialized in another few days.
TSA observers note violations, even trivial, by Newark airport screeners.
In the grand scheme of things, sports are trivial.
Romney's Adoption Remark Trivializes Gay Inequalities.
Where we get mad, and you get trivial.
) However, The Weather Channel 's interpretation of naming winter storms will only trivialize the process and make people immune to the potential impacts of more severe weather events.
At Alan Clark , we believe that no situation is too serious or too trivial for our superior service.
That was Judge Mark A Ciavarella's rigid formula for dealing with even trivial juvenile misconduct, and the tough boss of "kiddie court".
Ace returns to Mick Jeffries' Trivial Thursdays on WRFL 88.1 Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 7 am for "a very special Best of Lexington preview.".
Thanksgiving Trivial Pursuit game ends with arrest/hatchet.
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In science:

Example 1.(trivial actions) Assume that H acts trivially on A, i.e., h · a = ǫ(h)a for all h ∈ H, a ∈ A.
Equivariant Cyclic Cohomology of H-Algebras
The moduli space of three or less points on a sphere is trivial (see below), so non-trivial constraints arise for the first time from the four-point blocks.
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
Suppose that ρ is a small deformation of the trivial representation, so that Eρ is a topologically trivial bundle.
Codimension one symplectic foliations
Thus, every function M leads to two solutions: one with trivial Y and one with non-trivial Y , satisfying Eq. (51).
Static charged perfect fluid spheres in general relativity
Note also that the induction functor Moda → Moda is trivial because Moda is trivial. 9.3.
Induced and simple modules of double affine Hecke algebras
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