Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[mak-suh-muh m] /ˈmæk sə məm/
noun, plural maximums, maxima
[mak-suh-muh] /ˈmæk sə mə/ (Show IPA)
the greatest quantity or amount possible, assignable, allowable, etc.
the highest amount, value, or degree attained or recorded.
an upper limit allowed or allowable by law or regulation.
  1. Also called relative maximum, local maximum. the value of a function at a certain point in its domain, which is greater than or equal to the values at all other points in the immediate vicinity of the point.
  2. the point in the domain at which a maximum occurs.
that is a maximum; greatest or highest possible or attained:
maximum satisfaction; maximum temperature.
pertaining to a maximum or maximums.
Origin of maximum
1730-40; < Latin, noun use of neuter of maximus, superlative of magnus great, large
Related forms
maximumly, adverb
submaximum, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for maximum
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for maximum


noun (pl) -mums, -ma (-mə)
the greatest possible amount, degree, etc
the highest value of a variable quantity
  1. a value of a function that is greater than any neighbouring value
  2. a stationary point on a curve at which the tangent changes from a positive value on the left of this point to a negative value on the right Compare minimum (sense 4)
  3. the largest number in a set
  1. the time at which the brightness of a variable star has its greatest value
  2. the magnitude of the star at that time
of, being, or showing a maximum or maximums
Word Origin
C18: from Latin: greatest (the neuter form used as noun), from magnus great
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for maximum

1740, from French maximum and directly from Latin maximum (plural maxima), neuter of maximus "greatest," which is superlative of magnus "great, large" (see magnum).


1834, from maximum (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
maximum in Medicine

maximum max·i·mum (māk'sə-məm)
n. pl. max·i·mums or max·i·ma (-mə)

  1. The greatest possible quantity or degree.

  2. The greatest quantity or degree reached or recorded; the upper limit of variation.

  3. The time or period during which the highest point or degree is attained.

  1. Having or being the greatest quantity or the highest degree attained or attainable.

  2. Of, relating to, or making up a maximum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
maximum in Science
Plural maximums or maxima
  1. The greatest known or greatest possible number, measure, quantity, or degree.

  2. The greatest value of a mathematical function, if it has such a value.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for maximum

Difficulty index for maximum

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for maximum

Scrabble Words With Friends