[ mak-see ]
/ ˈmæk si /
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See synonyms for: maxi / maxis on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural max·is.
a garment having a maxiskirt, as a coat.
of the length of a maxiskirt; having a maxiskirt.
Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?

Origin of maxi

1965–70; shortening of maxiskirt, or independent use of maxi-

Other definitions for maxi (2 of 2)


a combining form with the meanings “very large in comparison with others of its kind” (maxi-budget; maxi-taxi); “of great scope or intensity” (maxi-devaluation; maxi-service); (of clothing) “long, nearly ankle-length” (maxicoat; maxiskirt).

Origin of maxi-

Shortening of maximal or maximum, by analogy with mini-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does maxi- mean?

Maxi– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “very large” or “of great scope or intensity.” It is occasionally used in a variety of everyday terms, especially in fashion.

Maxi– comes from a shortening of maximal or maximum, meaning “greatest possible.” The word maximum comes from Latin maximus, the superlative form of magnus, meaning “great” or “large.” This Latin word is also related to the root of the terms maxim, “an expression of a general truth or principle,” and major “greater in size.” Learn more at our entries for maxim and major.

Examples of maxi-

A word that features the form maxi– is maxiskirt, “a long skirt or skirt part, as of a coat or dress, ending below the middle of the calf but above the ankle.”

As we know, maxi– means “very large.” The skirt part of the word refers to a skirt. Maxiskirt literally means “very large skirt.”

What are some words that use the combining form maxi-?

  • maxicoat
  • maxidress

What are some other forms that maxi– may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that begins with the exact letters maxi-, such as maxilla or maximite, is necessarily using the combining form maxi– to denote “very large.” Learn why maxilla means “jawbone” at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

Given the meaning of the form maxi-, what is a maxidress?

How to use maxi in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for maxi

/ (ˈmæksɪ) /

  1. (of a garment) reaching the ankle
  2. (as noun)she wore a maxi
  3. (in combination)a maxidress
a type of large racing yacht

Word Origin for maxi

C20: shortened from maximum
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