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

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 was often his delight, after his school was dismissed in the afternoon, to stretch himself on the rich bed of clover bordering the little brook that whimpered by his school-house, and there con over old Mather's direful tales, until the gathering dusk of evening made the printed page a mere mist before his eyes.
Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression, when, and only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.
or mere fate, if you will have it so, dried up the next moment this beneficent dew.
And during these few revolutions all the activity, all the traditions, the complex organizations, the nations, languages, literatures, aspirations, even the mere memory of Man as I knew him, had been swept out of existence.
Our ships of yesterday will stand to their ships as no lineal ancestors, but as mere predecessors whose course will have been run and the race extinct.
There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
In this composition we find it difficult to recognize the Willis who has written so many mere "verses of society.
If he knew the way to it now better than to any other address among the dreadful multiplied numberings which seemed to him to reduce the whole place to some vast ledger-page, overgrown, fantastic, of ruled and criss- crossed lines and figures - if he had formed, for his consolation, that habit, it was really not a little because of the charm of his having encountered and recognised, in the vast wilderness of the wholesale, breaking through the mere gross generalisation of wealth and force and success, a small still scene where items and shades, all delicate things, kept the sharpness of the notes of a high voice perfectly trained, and where economy hung about like the scent of a garden.
The stately language of the Bible refers to a crown of life whose lustre will reflect the day- beams of the endless ages of eternity, not the butterfly existence of a city built by men's hands, which must pass to dust with the builders and be forgotten even in the mere handful of centuries vouchsafed to the solid world itself between its cradle and its grave.
The supposed fortune of the count had dwindled to a mere nothing, although he had given almost irrefutable evidence of its existence to Lizabetha Prokofievna and Prince S.
To take the children of such people as I had been among for a month, and each day give them a few hours of mere book education, I felt would be almost a waste of time.
Even if I had no other motive than mere curiosity," Alban answered, "I think I should go on.
A woman of brilliance and audacity, accompanied by a mere boy, came into the place and took seats near them.
Some Frogs frequenting the pool heard his lamentation, and said, "What would you do if you had to live here always as we do, when you make such a fuss about a mere fall into the water?
Then thou art a happy man," said the Dishonest Gain, "and thy bleeding head is but mere dissembling.