[ mak-suh-muhm ]
See synonyms for maximum on
noun,plural max·i·mums, max·i·ma [mak-suh-muh]. /ˈmæk sə mə/.
  1. the greatest quantity or amount possible, assignable, allowable, etc.

  2. the highest amount, value, or degree attained or recorded.

  1. an upper limit allowed or allowable by law or regulation.

  2. Mathematics.

    • 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.: Compare absolute maximum.

    • the point in the domain at which a maximum occurs.

  1. that is a maximum; greatest or highest possible or attained: maximum satisfaction; maximum temperature.

  2. pertaining to a maximum or maximums.

Origin of maximum

First recorded in 1730–40; from Latin, noun use of neuter of maximus, superlative of magnus “great, large”

Other words from maximum

  • max·i·mum·ly, adverb
  • sub·max·i·mum, adjective

Words Nearby maximum Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use maximum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for maximum


/ (ˈmæksɪməm) /

nounplural -mums or -ma (-mə)
  1. the greatest possible amount, degree, etc

  2. the highest value of a variable quantity

  1. maths

    • a value of a function that is greater than any neighbouring value

    • 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 (def. 4)

    • the largest number in a set

  2. astronomy

    • the time at which the brightness of a variable star has its greatest value

    • the magnitude of the star at that time

  1. of, being, or showing a maximum or maximums

Origin of maximum

C18: from Latin: greatest (the neuter form used as noun), from magnus great
  • Abbreviation: max

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

Scientific definitions for maximum


[ măksə-məm ]

Plural maximums 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.