[ mak-suh-muh m ]
/ ˈmæk sə məm /

noun, plural max·i·mums, max·i·ma [mak-suh-muh] /ˈmæk sə mə/.

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.Compare absolute maximum.
  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.



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Origin of maximum

1730–40; < Latin, noun use of neuter of maximus, superlative of magnus great, large


max·i·mum·ly, adverbsub·max·i·mum, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for maximum

British Dictionary definitions for maximum

/ (ˈmæksɪməm) /

noun plural -mums or -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 rightCompare minimum (def. 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
Abbreviation: max

Word Origin for maximum

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

Medical definitions for maximum

[ măksə-məm ]

n. pl. max•i•mums

The greatest possible quantity or degree.
The greatest quantity or degree reached or recorded; the upper limit of variation.
The time or period during which the highest point or degree is attained.


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

Scientific definitions for maximum

[ măksə-məm ]

Plural maximums maxima

The greatest known or greatest possible number, measure, quantity, or degree.
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.