Student Dictionary

One entry found for trivial.
Main Entry: triv·i·al
Pronunciation: primarystresstriv-emacron-schwal
Function: adjective
Etymology: from Latin trivialis "found everywhere, commonplace, trivial," from trivium "a place where three roads meet," from tri- "three" and via "way"
1 : 2ORDINARY 2, commonplace
2 : of little worth or importance : INSIGNIFICANT <a trivial mistake>
- triv·i·al·ly /-emacron-schwa-lemacron/ adverb
Word History The words trivial and trivia can be traced back to the Latin noun trivium, meaning "a place where three roads meet." The Latin word was made from tri-, meaning "three," and via "way, road." The adjective form of trivium was trivialis. It was used to mean "common, ordinary." This sense probably developed from the notion that road junctions function as meeting places for people to exchange ordinary bits of news. In the 16th century, the adjective trivial came to be used in English with the same meaning. In time, this adjective also took on the sense of "of little worth or importance." This is its main meaning today. It wasn't until the 1920s that the word trivia began being used for "unimportant matters." This word is the plural form of the Latin word trivium.

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