mere


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mere mortal

A human, and therefore capable of mistakes. The phrase emphasizes someone's humanity and fallibility. I have to make my expectations more realistic and realize that she's a mere mortal. Presidents are bound to make mistakes—they're mere mortals, just like the rest of us.
See also: mere, mortal

when (one) was a twinkle in (one's) father's eye

Before one was born. I never knew my grandparents—they died when I was a twinkle in my father's eye.
See also: eye, twinkle

mere trifle

Fig. a tiny bit; a small, unimportant matter; a small amount of money. But this isn't expensive! It costs a mere trifle!
See also: mere, trifle
References in classic literature ?
It's a mean piece of business," complained the mere boy.
The mere boy relapsed into a period of gloom, during which he exterminated a number of cock-tails with a determined air, as if replying defiantly to fate.
After a time the mere boy began to see cobwebs just in front of his nose.
Great Gawd, what hava struck," demanded the mere boy of himself, stupefied.
The Macquarie figures in the map as a respectable river, and it is the largest of those draining this part of the water-shed; yet to my surprise I found it a mere chain of ponds, separated from each other by spaces almost dry.
All the foregoing rules and aids and difficulties in classification are explained, if I do not greatly deceive myself, on the view that the natural system is founded on descent with modification; that the characters which naturalists consider as showing true affinity between any two or more species, are those which have been inherited from a common parent, and, in so far, all true classification is genealogical; that community of descent is the hidden bond which naturalists have been unconsciously seeking, and not some unknown plan of creation, or the enunciation of general propositions, and the mere putting together and separating objects more or less alike.
We care not how trifling a character may be--let it be the mere inflection of the angle of the jaw, the manner in which an insect's wing is folded, whether the skin be covered by hair or feathers--if it prevail throughout many and different species, especially those having very different habits of life, it assumes high value; for we can account for its presence in so many forms with such different habits, only by its inheritance from a common parent.
These things are not mere thoughts of yours, but your thought stands in a relation to them of which you are more or less aware.
Those who still cling to it are clinging to a mere echo, the faint rumour left behind by the disappearing
A mere trick of his evil eyes, a mere turn of his smooth white hand, a mere hair's- breadth of addition to the fall of his nose and the rise of the moustache in the most frequent movement of his face, conveyed to both of them, equally, a swagger personal to themselves.
Little Dorrit, still habitually thoughtful and solitary though no longer alone, at first supposed this to be mere Prunes and Prism.
Owner India Ward is now opening a second, larger store in Mere Green, complete with a blow dry bar and beauty department.
After deciding to practice what she taught, De Mere embarked on a mission to gain control of her own stress, while helping others follow in her path.
L'association des meres des disparus a organise, vendredi, un mouvement de protestation devant le siege de la presidence du gouvernement a la kasbah, afin de demander au gouvernement d'eclaircir le sort de leurs enfants portes disparus en Italie depuis 6 ans et de prendre les mesures necessaires en vue de les rapatrier.
The Mere Green restaurant is housed in the former Apres bar which closed in June and, like its parent, has been created by interior designer Matt Rawlinson, aiming to replicate the original venue's look.