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

  • intransitive verb To talk or act feebly or futilely.
  • noun Foolish or futile talk or ideas; nonsense.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To do something (or nothing) in a lazy, ineffective way; idle; dawdle; talk idly or nonsensically.
  • To be squeamish.
  • noun Something trifling or nonsensical; trifling talk; twaddle.

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

  • intransitive verb Dial. or Slang To be sequeamish or delicate; hence, to act or talk triflingly or ineffectively; to twaddle; piddle.
  • noun Dial. or Slang Act of piffling; trifling talk or action; piddling; twaddle.

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

  • noun Nonsense, foolish talk.
  • verb To act or speak in a futile, ineffective, or nonsensical manner.
  • verb To waste, to fritter away.

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

  • verb speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
  • verb act in a trivial or ineffective way
  • noun trivial nonsense


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

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Unknown, 1847. Perhaps blend of piddle and trifle, perhaps puff (“(onomatopoeia, puff of air)”) +‎ -le (“diminutive”).


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  • cf tosh

    July 21, 2008

  • If not frequently brandished by Wooster, it sure as hell ought to be

    April 13, 2009

  • See Daisy Ashford's 'The Young Visiters' (sic) - and her wonderful phrase "piffle in the wind"

    November 8, 2009

  • "Perfect piffe".

    P.G.Wodehouse, "My Man Jeeves"

    November 23, 2010