Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An unimportant or insignificant thing; a trifle.
  • noun A short, light piece of verse or music.
  • noun A game played on an oblong table with a cue and balls.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Specifically, in music, a short and light piece, usually for the piano.
  • noun A trifle; a thing of no importance.
  • noun A game played on a table having at one end nine holes, into which balls are to be struck with a billiard-cue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A trifle; a thing of no importance.
  • noun A game played on an oblong board, having, at one end, cups or arches into or through which balls are to be driven by a rod held in the hand of the player.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A trifle; an unsubstantial thing.
  • noun A short piece of literature or of instrumental music, typically light or playful in character.
  • noun A game similar to billiards played on an oblong table with pockets or arches at one end only.
  • noun Any of several smaller, wooden table top games developed from the original bagatelle in which the pockets are made of pins; also called pin bagatelle, hit-a-pin bagatelle, jaw ball.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun something of little value or significance
  • noun a table game in which short cues are used to knock balls into holes that are guarded by wooden pegs; penalties are incurred if the pegs are knocked over
  • noun a light piece of music for piano

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Italian bagatella, diminutive of dialectal bagata, little property, possibly from Latin bāca, berry.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French bagatelle, from Italian bagattella.

Examples

Comments

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  • If only some rain would fall

    On the houses and the boulevards

    And the sidewalk bagatelles

    It's like a dream

    December 2, 2006

  • Every story, new or ancient,

    Bagatelle or work of art:

    All are tales of human failing;

    All are tales of love at heart

    January 11, 2007

  • A game played on a table having a semi-circular end at which are nine holes. The balls used are struck from the opposite end of the board with a cue. The name is sometimes applied to a modified form of billiards known also as semi-billiards.

    September 24, 2007

  • And here I always thought it was French bread. ;->

    September 24, 2007

  • or a trifle?

    September 24, 2007

  • Also an Irish band:

    Bagatelle (band)

    December 15, 2007