She found it horrible that in this supreme matter everything must be left to Fate, to Chance, to the merest Toss-up.
On another, it might have appeared perhaps the merest trifle garish.
It just turned on the merest hairsbreadth of a pressure on the trigger.
It seemed that he saw the merest ghost of a flicker in Murray's left eye.
Our marriage was the merest form, and I came back from the church wishing that my last hour had come.
That, however, is merest surmise, an' in a manner onimportant.
Absurd as it was, the phrase crinkled Stanton's heart just the merest trifle.
He tapped lightly on a door and it was opened the merest crack.
He could not be more unsettled and useless if he were the merest dunce in the three kingdoms.
It was the merest accident that he did not miss us and lose his passage.
c.1400, "unmixed, pure," from Old French mier "pure" (of gold), "entire, total, complete," and directly from Latin merus "unmixed" (of wine), "pure; bare, naked;" figuratively "true, real, genuine," probably originally "clear, bright," from PIE *mer- "to gleam, glimmer, sparkle" (cf. Old English amerian "to purify," Old Irish emer "not clear," Sanskrit maricih "ray, beam," Greek marmarein "to gleam, glimmer"). Original sense of "nothing less than, absolute" (mid-15c., now only in vestiges such as mere folly) existed for centuries alongside opposite sense of "nothing more than" (1580s, e.g. a mere dream).
Old English mere "sea, ocean; lake, pool, pond, cistern," from Proto-Germanic *mari (cf. Old Norse marr, Old Saxon meri "sea," Middle Dutch maer, Dutch meer "lake, sea, pool," Old High German mari, German Meer "sea," Gothic marei "sea," mari-saiws "lake"), from PIE *mori- "sea" (cf. Latin mare, Old Church Slavonic morje, Russian more, Lithuanian mares, Old Irish muir, Welsh mor "sea," Gaulish Are-morici "people living near the sea").