- the best or most favorable point, degree, amount, etc., as of temperature, light, and moisture for the growth or reproduction of an organism.
- the greatest degree or best result obtained or obtainable under specific conditions.
- most favorable or desirable; best: optimum conditions.
Origin of optimum
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for optimum
As for the search, which will soon resume, Soelisto confessed that “the capability of our equipment is not optimum.”Did Bad Weather Bring Down AirAsia 8501?
December 29, 2014
One reason for that is filmmakers shot with 16mm lenses on hand-cranked cameras for optimum authenticity.Who Invented the ‘Teenager’?
March 14, 2014
Even salt is chemically broken down and rebuilt for optimum flavor.How Fast Food Hooks Us
February 25, 2013
I read Anthropometry of Algerian Women and Optimum Handle Height for a Push-Pull Type Manually Operated Dryland Weeder.The Self-Educated Apple Genius
James Marcus Bach
September 13, 2009
The last two years was sort of the optimum personal fun, because we were the majority.Barney Frank Hits Back
April 2, 2009
Nothing is more pleasant than a day of this optimum kind in May or June.
Cultivation has been carried far beyond the optimum regions.The Apple-Tree
L. H. Bailey
My cousin, young Denny Swinton, was to dine with me that evening at the Optimum.Phroso
It will be very seldom that a plant is likely to be found at the optimum.
In the present case the optimum temperature is in the neighbourhood of 35C.
- a condition, degree, amount or compromise that produces the best possible result
- most favourable or advantageous; bestoptimum conditions
Word Origin and History for optimum
1879, from Latin optimum, neuter singular of optimus "best" (used as a superlative of bonus "good"), probably related to ops "power, resources" (in which case the evolution is from "richest" to "the most esteemed," thus from PIE root *op- "to work") or to ob "in front of," with superlative suffix *-tumos. Originally in biology, in reference to "conditions most favorable" (for growth, etc.). As an adjective from 1885.