mere

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Related to Meres: Mers, Mares

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

1. An insignificant or unimportant thing or matter. A: "What do you make of the prediction that sales will take a steep drop next month?" B: "A mere trifle—if there is in fact a drop, it should have no bearing on our bottom line for the end-of-year profits." He dismissed the allegation as a mere trifle trying to distract from his campaign efforts.
2. A very small or trifling amount (of something). A: "No thank you, I couldn't eat another bite." B: "Oh, come now, it's just a tiny bit of chocolate—a mere trifle!" A: "I can't believe you would go out and buy a new car without consulting me!" B: "It only cost a mere trifle, so I didn't think you'd mind!"
See also: mere, trifle

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.
Evidently this Culture is not a mere knowledge of books, unrelated to the rest of life.
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.
Mme Koukougni Marie Brigitte, 38 ans, et mere de quatre enfants, a ete declaree vainqueur du concours Awoulaba organise a l'occasion du festival des arts et cultures des 3A de Jacqueville autour du theme, "Les bienfaits de l'allaitement maternel".
"Ce cri de detresse lancee par ces meres n'a malheureusement pas trouve d'echo aupres du chef du gouvernement, Youssef Chahed", a regrette, la Presidente de l'association, Fatma Kasaraoui.
Il est evident que les professionnels de sante peuvent, a cet egard, jouer un role tres important, c'est du reste une priorite du ministere de la Sante qui fait partie du programme de surveillance de la grossesse ou encore la promotion de la sante de la mere et de l'enfant, la lutte contre la mortalite infantile.