1. An unimportant or insignificant thing; a trifle.
2. A short, light piece of verse or music.
3. A game played on an oblong table with a cue and nine balls.
[French, from Italian bagatella, diminutive of dialectal bagata, little property, possibly from Latin bāca, berry.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.