[min-uh-muh-liz-uh m]
noun (sometimes initial capital letter)
  1. Music. a reductive style or school of modern music utilizing only simple sonorities, rhythms, and patterns, with minimal embellishment or orchestrational complexity, and characterized by protracted repetition of figurations, obsessive structural rigor, and often a pulsing, hypnotic effect.
  2. minimal art.

Origin of minimalism

First recorded in 1965–70; minimal + -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of minimalism

British Dictionary definitions for minimalism


  1. another name for minimal art
  2. a type of music based on simple elements and avoiding elaboration or embellishment
  3. design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect
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