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Bagatelle   Listen
Bagatelle

noun
1.
A light piece of music for piano.
2.
Something of little value or significance.  Synonyms: fluff, frippery, frivolity.
3.
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.  Synonym: bar billiards.






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"Bagatelle" Quotes from Famous Books



... now could not be less than forty millions and the issue of such a suit as the one Woodman had brought and on which he had spent so much of his time and money was to Bivens a mere bagatelle. ...
— The Root of Evil • Thomas Dixon

... household organizations rearrange themselves. The railway trains once more run regularly. Laughter, clinking of glasses, and smirking loiterers on the boulevards testify that thoughtless, heartless Paris is itself once more. "Vive la bagatelle." ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... precincts. Before us rose the colossal citadel so-called, pyramid upon pyramid of rock, which our guide said we must positively climb, the grandest panorama being here obtained; a bit of a scramble, he added, but a mere bagatelle—the affair of a few ...
— The Roof of France • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... lettre touchant M. Loke [he wrote to a friend]. La seule matiere philosophique que j'y traite est la petite bagatelle de l'immortalite de l'ame; mais la chose a trop de consequence pour la traiter serieusement. Il a fallu l'egorger pour ne pas heurter de front nos seigneurs les theologiens, gens qui voient si clairement la spiritualite de l'ame qu'ils feraient bruler, s'ils pouvaient, les corps ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... by an adjournment to the dining-room to play bagatelle, the most inane of games, to which the billiard-player goes with contempt, changed quickly to wrath when he cannot put the balls into absurd little holes. Mary was an adept, and took pleasure in showing James how the thing should be done. He noticed that she and the curate managed the ...
— The Hero • William Somerset Maugham

... composer of the most magnificent operas in the world; weeks, months, years have gone to the writing. But all the paper, all the ink, all the labour, all the mental effort and sympathy and love seem a bagatelle when we look through the bibliographies and realize how much paper, ink, effort—not always to be called mental—sympathy and love have been used up in expounding Wagner's philosophy. The cases of Whitman and Browning make a poor show compared with this case. ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... was always spurring her to work, to throw over everything for this object; letters from England incessantly urged a very different course; friends in Paris pressed her to visit them, to accompany them hither and thither, to join musical parties, to compose little songs (some bagatelle in celebration of a birthday or wedding), to drive to the further end of the town to play to this person or that who had heard of Madame's great talent. Hadria was glad to do anything she could to express her gratitude for the kindness she had received on all hands, but, alas! there were ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... c'est a dire pour une bagatelle; but what can you expect from such animals? For what are you imprisoned? Did I not hear say ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... consider what a delicate and perishable fruit this is, it can be understood that gathering and packing it properly is no bagatelle. Sometimes you will find the fruit grower's family in the field, from the matron down to the little ones that cannot reach the highest berries. But the home force is wholly insufficient, and any one who will pick—man, woman or child—is employed. Therefore, ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... easy-chair, you may fancy that this is a mere bagatelle—a little bewilderment that one may easily escape from who has a good horse between his thighs. It is only to strike boldly out, and by riding on in a straight line, you must ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... was warm enough by the time I got to my inn; and it required a refreshing draught of porter, with half an hour's repose, ere I could determine to give no further thought to Christie and her opinions than those of any other vulgar, prejudiced old woman. I resolved at last to treat the thing EN BAGATELLE, and calling for writing materials, I folded up a cheque for L100, with these lines ...
— Chronicles of the Canongate • Sir Walter Scott

... an elongated variety of the butt hinge, known in the trade as "strap hinge," "desk hinge," or "bagatelle hinge." As its name indicates, it is used on folding bagatelle tables, small writing desks, and other types of work that have but a narrow margin on which to fix the hinges. The long, narrow plates are sunk flush into the wood, the knuckle or rounded ...
— Woodwork Joints - How they are Set Out, How Made and Where Used. • William Fairham

... that kind of property—for it is so misnamed—is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought if in that way a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected, and gradually and with due sacrifices I think it might be. But as it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him nor safely ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... talons digging into his very soul. Good God! what was he to do? He covered his face with his hands, and turned round and round mentally in that darkness to see if anywhere there might be a gleam of light; but none was visible east or west. A hundred pounds, only a hundred pounds; a bagatelle, a thing that to many men was as small an affair as a stray sixpence; and here was this man, as good, so to speak, as any—well educated, full of gifts and accomplishments, well born, well connected, not a prodigal nor open sinner, losing himself ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... criminals, take so much trouble as to form these large vaults in the solid trunks of trees; and especially with such rude implements as they are used to make them with. But this wonder will cease when I inform you, that the hallowing out of a chamber in the trunk of a baobab is a mere bagatelle, and costs but trifling labour. The wood of this great tree is remarkably soft and porous, and a cavity can be scooped out in it, almost as easily as in the side of a turnip—at all events with not greater difficulty than in a hard bank of clay or earth; ...
— Ran Away to Sea • Mayne Reid

... the bombardment of Dunkirk with a huge gun or guns, doing considerable damage and killing several persons; Germans make further gains on the west bank of the Ypres Canal; French repulse Germans in the Argonne, near Bagatelle; French take trenches in the Forest of Le Pretre; French artillery bombards fortifications of Altkirch, ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... Rustum Khan and his fiery unreason was the subject we discussed, and Fred laid law down as to how he should be dealt with whenever the chance should come to bring him to book. But Rustum Khan was a bagatelle compared to what was coming, if we had only known it. While we talked I saw Gregor Jhaere, the attaman of gipsies, ride down the track on a brown mule and dismount within ten yards of Kagig. He hobbled ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... stupidity," once cried the Dean of St. Patrick's, "that it will not come in to supply the want of philosophy!" So in the Introduction to "The Tale of a Tub," he, half in jest and half in earnest, declares that "wisdom is like a cheese, whereof to a judicious taste the maggots are the best." Vive la bagatelle! trembled upon his lips at the age of threescore; and he amused himself with reading the most trifling books he could find, and writing upon the most trifling subjects. Lord Bolingbroke wrote to him to beg him "to put on his philosophical spectacles," and wrote ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... aside. 'It was a bagatelle,' he said. We became friendly. He moved to my table, and we fraternized over ...
— The Man Upstairs and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... you will spare yourself and your sister," said the Captain, "by being reasonable. What, after all, is the sum I have named? To your wealthy father a bagatelle. I repeat, I have been too modest. But since I have said twenty thousand pieces of eight, twenty thousand ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... world, and every thing that I hold dear in it!—c'est pis que la cage de fer de Tamerlan. (It is worse than Tamerlane's iron cage.) I would prefer being delivered up to the Bourbons. Among other insults," said he,—"but that is a mere bagatelle, a very secondary consideration,—they style me General! they can have no right to call me General; they may as well call me Archbishop, for I was head of the church, as well as the army. If they do not acknowledge me as Emperor, they ought as First ...
— The Surrender of Napoleon • Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland

... which had covered our political relations with President Kruger and his party, and to show the firm foundations on which the hatred of the Boer for the Briton had been built for years. The question of the franchise was a bagatelle: a soap-bubble would have been pretext enough for war when the right hour and moment arrived. As allowed by this candid writer, whose valuable avowals cannot afford to be ignored, for many years treachery and disloyalty had existed, and the Boers had only bided ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... a beginning. When you have sat a half score of times on the wooden horse, or stood on the stake, then you will think this sort of thing is a mere bagatelle. ...
— Comedies • Ludvig Holberg

... went to the Home it was very full, and he stumbled over more than one recumbent seaman on the landings before he reached the hall, where, late though it was, a number of men were playing chess, draughts, and bagatelle, or reading books and papers. Here he found Haco Barepoles, as rugged as ever, seated by the fire and deeply engaged in a copy ...
— Shifting Winds - A Tough Yarn • R.M. Ballantyne

... welcomed with the kindest hospitality, that I received my first impressions of "life in the clearings." My hosts were only recovering from the fatigues of a "thrashing-bee" of the day before, and, while we were playing at bagatelle, one of the gentlemen assistants came to the door, and asked if the "Boss" were at home. A lady told me that, when she first came out, a servant asked her "How the boss liked his shirts done?" As Mrs. Moodie had not then enlightened the world on the subject of settlers' slang, the ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... who, whether good-natured or ill-natured, is a most provoking animal—there is the bore facetious, an insufferable creature, always laughing, but with whom you can never laugh. And there is another exotic variety—the vive la bagatelle bore of the ape kind—who imitate men of genius. Having early been taught that there is nothing more delightful than the unbending of a great mind, they set about continually to unbend ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... who drained his glass more fervently than did Arthur Maynwaring? For whatever may have been the faults of this dashing Whig, he had the courage of his sins, and took up his abode with Anne in the full light of day, as though a marriage ceremony were a bagatelle not worth the recollecting. The world was forgiving, to be sure, nor is it probable that either one of this easily-mated pair suffered any loss of public esteem by the union. Dukes—nay, even Duchesses—were glad to meet ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... the public room. They're always quarreling there, over their drink and the bagatelle-board; and Dick has to turn them out. But gentlemen ought to ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... dignified instincts restrained me. I withdrew my sleeve from his touch (it was this act of his, I think, that had most to do with my displeasure), and merely bidding him observe that the enormous price of the kettle-supporter had been reduced for me by his exhibition to a bagatelle, I left the shop of the screaming anatomist—or Afropath, or whatever it may seem most fitting that ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... swimming 'rari in gurgite vasto'—Palmyra columns, reared in the midst of a desert of sentences. And Coleridge—than whom in the mines of mental science few have dug deeper, and though Xerxes-hosts of word-slaves waited on his pen—often wrote apparently mere bagatelle—the most transcendental nonsense. Yet he who takes the pains to husk away his obscurity of style will find solid ears of thought to recompense his labor. Bentham and Kant required interpreters—Dumont and Cousin—to make understood what was well worth understanding. These ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... at two dollars a pound how much will it bring you in? Why, nothing, hardly; a mere bagatelle for a gentleman and a scholar like you; but what about me and poor Virginia, slaving around to cook your meals? What do we get for all our pains? Oh, I could kill you, you scoundrel! You knew it all the time, and yet you let me ...
— Shadow Mountain • Dane Coolidge

... and began to search for the real obstacle that she had encountered, for it was impossible that it should enter the mind of any lady, that a gentleman could despise that bagatelle which is of such great price and so high value. Now these thoughts knitted and joined together so well, one fitting into the other, that out of little pieces she constructed a perfect whole, and found herself ...
— Droll Stories, Volume 1 • Honore de Balzac

... affair. Massachusetts has expended many times the cost of the repairs of "Old Ironsides" in preserving for the nation the revolutionary sites and monuments upon our soil. Payment for the repair and restoration of "Old Ironsides" would be a bagatelle if the people of the United States were to demand that this monument also shall be purchased by the people of Massachusetts under threat ...
— Practical Argumentation • George K. Pattee

... prove it they at once started to set up their marks. However, the administrator of the religious order left to them, for humanity's sake, the usufruct of the land on condition that they pay a small sum annually—a mere bagatelle, twenty or thirty pesos. Tales, as peaceful a man as could be found, was as much opposed to lawsuits as any one and more submissive to the friars than most people; so, in order not to smash a palyok against a kawali (as he said, for to him ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... glass of bitter at the bar, asked for a baker. One came forth from an inner chamber, looking sleepy, as bakers always look. In the penetralia of the parlour which he left I saw a group of floury comrades, the prominent features of the gathering being depression and bagatelle. By my comatose friend I was referred to the Admiral Carter, in Bartholomew Close, where the men's committee sat daily at four. The society in front of the bar there was much more cheerful than that of the Pewter Platter, and the bakers were discussing much ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... doing a great deal in the way of Red Cross and relief work, but it is a mere bagatelle compared with the activities of England in this direction. The women of England are as fully awake as are the women of France. Thousands are at work in hospitals and caring for the refugees. Girls are at work making horse-shoes for the army horses. These girls are cultivated, aristocratic women, ...
— A Journey Through France in War Time • Joseph G. Butler, Jr.

... was, in fact, as I have reason to believe, a mere bagatelle, but the chairman of the Indian Committee in the Senate was rather on the lookout for something, or anything, to embarrass or disoblige General Jackson and his agents, having fallen out with him, and being then, indeed, a candidate for President of the U.S. himself, at the coming ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... or so we kept an anxious outlook, but as the minutes went on our fears of interruption grew fainter, and our hopes rose to fever heat. We were all well mounted, our horses were fresh and full of vigor, and to all but one of us the ride itself was the merest bagatelle. But I noticed, riding side by side with the count, that he was reeling in the saddle like a drunken man, and at one moment he gave such a lurch towards me that if I had not been at hand to support him he would have ...
— In Direst Peril • David Christie Murray

... the progress of this land-forming action, there can be no doubt that the Nile has the intention of filling up by degrees the whole eastern Mediterranean, and that in process of time—say in no more than a few million years or so, a mere bagatelle to the geologist—with the aid of the Po and some other lesser streams, it will transform the entire basin of the inland sea into a level and cultivable plain, like Bengal or Mesopotamia, themselves (as we shall see) the final result ...
— Science in Arcady • Grant Allen

... his advent at the Reno House this passion had been dormant; he knew no one with whom he could play, and every cent of his income now went for food and lodging. But one day, about six months before his visit to Geary's office, Vandover saw that the proprietor of the Reno House had set up a great bagatelle board in a corner of the reading-room. A group of men, sailors, ranchmen, and fruit venders were already playing. Vandover approached and watched the game, very interested in watching the uncertain course of the marble jog-jogging among the pins. The clear little note of the bell or the ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... a watch, a bagatelle, and then—there is time. It is nothing. How good the coffee is ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill

... enough for this kind of thing," said Fred Pepper. "We only want just something to do." And Ralph, when at the end of the week he had lost only a matter of fifteen pounds, congratulated himself on having begun his better life. Cox and Fred Pepper, who divided the trifle between them, laughed at the bagatelle. ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... calculated on making three miles an hour for every hour of the twenty-four, things would not have been bad. This rate of speed would have carried them to their destination in a dozen days,—a mere bagatelle. But they knew enough of river-navigation to disregard such data. They knew the current of the Solimoes to be extremely slow; they had heard of the strange phenomenon, that, run which way the river might, north, south, ...
— Our Young Folks, Vol 1, No. 1 - An Illustrated Magazine • Various

... point, tho' you think, I dare say. That 'tis debt or the Cholera drives me away, 'Pon honor you're wrong;—such a mere bagatelle As a pestilence, nobody now-a-days fears; And the fact is, my love, I'm thus bolting, pell-mell, To get out of the way of these horrid new Peers;[1] This deluge of coronets frightful to think of; Which England is now ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... Balzac's bile was stirred. He relived his feelings in a long reply to Laure. It seemed after all he would return to Paris under his shield. "I had a marriage which made my fortune," he told her. "Everything is now upset for a bagatelle. Know that it is with marriages as with cream; a changed atmosphere, a bad odour, spoils them both. Bad marriages are easily arranged; good ones only with infinite precaution. . . . I can tell ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... a way that he can set it free in a moment, if necessary. When he has finished towing he drops back to the lady's side, hanging the loose end of the cord over her shoulder, to be ready for the next hill. A gentle pull that is a bagatelle to a strong rider is of great assistance to a weak one up hill or against ...
— Social Life - or, The Manners and Customs of Polite Society • Maud C. Cooke

... partially recovered my senses, I followed their example. The table was about half the size of the billiard-tables in England, and the pockets were twice as large. The four balls, with which they played, were not much bigger than those generally used at bagatelle. The queus were uncovered at the top with leather; and the player had the satisfaction of hearing the sharp twang of his bare-headed queu as each time it struck the little ivory ball. No chalk was in the room. The Danes possess ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... Chevalier Mancini, scornfully—"Is that all? A mere bagatelle! Ferrari, you were wont to be more sensible! What! quarrel with an excellent friend for the sake of a woman who happens to prefer him to you! Ma che! ...
— Vendetta - A Story of One Forgotten • Marie Corelli



Words linked to "Bagatelle" :   United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, trivia, bar billiards, small beer, fluff, Britain, United Kingdom, trifle, piece of music, Great Britain, U.K., musical composition, UK, triviality, composition, frippery, table game, opus, piece



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