LaTeX defines the two environments
\list. Both can be used creating own environments.
What exactly is the differences between
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\list is less triv(ial) than
\list has hooks for setting the label format which trivlist doesn't use (as it's normally used in things like center where the label/item is hidden, or theorems where there is only one item).
It's premature optimisation in a way: @egreg had to patch a command in an answer the other day to use list not trivlist so that the formatting could be changed. Had the original used list it would have been a trivial setting.