Old English trenket (a sort of knife), hence, probably, a toy knife worn as an ornament; probably from an Old French dialectal form of trenchier (to cut). Compare trench.


  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋkɪt


trinket (plural trinkets)

  1. A small showy ornament or piece of jewelry
    That little trinket around her neck must have cost a bundle.
  2. A thing of little value; a trifle; a toy.
    It's only a little trinket, but it reminds her of him.
    • 1927-29, M.K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, translated 1940 by Mahadev Desai, Part I, Chapter xxiii:
      There is no art about the Eiffel Tower. In no way can it be said to have contributed to the real beauty of the Exhibition. Men flocked to see it and ascended it as it was a novelty and of unique dimensions. It was the toy of the Exhibition. So long as we are children we are attracted by toys, and the Tower was a good demonstration of the fact that we are all children attracted by trinkets. That may be claimed to be the purpose served by the Eiffel Tower.
  3. (nautical) A three-cornered sail formerly carried on a ship's foremast, probably on a lateen yard.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hakluyt and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Sailing always with the sheets of mainsail and trinket warily in our hands.
  4. (obsolete) A knife; a cutting tool.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tusser to this entry?)




trinket (third-person singular simple present trinkets, present participle trinketing, simple past and past participle trinketed)

  1. (obsolete) To give trinkets; to court favour.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of South to this entry?)






  1. Second-person plural subjunctive I of trinken.