nugatory \NOO-guh-tor-ee; NYOO-\, adjective:
1. Trifling; insignificant; inconsequential.
2. Having no force; inoperative; ineffectual.
Tygiel's forte as a historian is his eye for what may
appear nugatory or marginal but, when focused upon,
illuminates the temper of a given moment.
--Roberto Gonzlez Echevarria, "From Ruth to Rotisserie,"
New York Times, July 2, 2000
Jacoby's offense was no offense -- or an error so nugatory
as to demand no more than a one-sentence explanation.
--Lance Morrow, "In Boston, a Foolish Consistency of Little
Minds," Time, July 19, 2000
Socialism no longer restrains; trade unions do so much less
than they did; moral inhibitions over the acquisition and
display of wealth are nugatory.
--John Lloyd, "If not socialism, what will persuade the
rich willingly to pay more taxes to help the poor and
preserve a decent society?" New Statesman, August 2,
Nugatory comes from Latin nugatorius, from nugari, "to
trifle," from nugae, "jests, trifles."