Definitions

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

  • adjective Of little significance or value.
  • adjective Concerned with or involving unimportant matters; superficial.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being the solution of an equation in which every variable is equal to zero.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being the simplest possible case; self-evident.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Such as may be found everywhere; commonplace; ordinary; vulgar.
  • Trifling; insignificant; of little worth or importance; paltry.
  • Occupying one's self with trifles; trifling.
  • Of or pertaining to the trivium, or the first three liberal arts—grammar, rhetoric, and logic; hence, initiatory; rudimentary.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In echinoderms, specifically, of or pertaining to the trivium: as, the trivial (anterior) ambulacra of a sea-urchin.
  • noun One of the three liberal arts which constitute the trivium.
  • noun A coefficient or other quantity not containing the quantities of the set considered.

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

  • noun obsolete One of the three liberal arts forming the trivium.
  • adjective obsolete Found anywhere; common.
  • adjective Ordinary; commonplace; trifling; vulgar.
  • adjective Of little worth or importance; inconsiderable; trifling; petty; paltry.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to the trivium.
  • adjective (Nat. Hist.) the specific name.

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

  • adjective Of little significance or value.
  • adjective Common, ordinary.
  • adjective Concerned with or involving trivia.
  • adjective biology Relating to or designating the name of a species; specific as opposed to generic.
  • adjective mathematics Of, relating to, or being the simplest possible case.
  • adjective mathematics Self-evident.
  • adjective Pertaining to the trivium.
  • adjective philosophy Indistinguishable in case of truth or falsity.
  • noun obsolete Any of the three liberal arts forming the trivium.

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

  • adjective concerned with trivialities
  • adjective of little substance or significance
  • adjective (informal) small and of little importance

Etymologies

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

[Middle English trivialle, of the trivium (from Medieval Latin triviālis, from trivium, trivium; see trivium) and Latin triviālis, ordinary (from trivium, crossroads).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin triviālis ("appropriate to the street-corner, commonplace, vulgar"), from trivium ("place where three roads meet"). Compare trivium, trivia.

Examples

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