View synonyms for minimalist


[ min-uh-muh-list ]


  1. a person who favors a moderate approach to the achievement of a set of goals or who holds minimal expectations for the success of a program.
  2. a practitioner of minimalism in music or art.


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of minimalism.
  2. being or offering no more than what is required or essential:

    a minimalist program for tax reform.



/ ˈmɪnɪməlɪst /


  1. a member of the faction of the Social Revolutionaries that advocated immediate postrevolutionary democracy
  2. a less common name for a Menshevik



/ ˈmɪnɪməlɪst /


  1. a person advocating a minimal policy, style, technique, action, etc
  2. a minimal artist


  1. of or relating to minimal art or artists

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Word History and Origins

Origin of minimalist1

1905–10; in political use < French minimaliste ( minimal, -ist ), translation of Russian men'shevík Menshevik; subsequent uses perhaps recoinage with minimal, -ist

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Example Sentences

It’s no coincidence that, as our world gets more polluted, the minimalist aesthetic has become more popular.

As for whether this minimalist approach is really enough to optimize strength gains, the question reminds me of the epidemiological data suggesting that you can get “most” of the benefits of running by doing as little as five minutes a day.

Although the soundtrack is electronic and minimalist, the overall vibe is Disney fairy-tale musical.

In November, he moved out of his Colonial home in Richmond and relocated to a small, minimalist house in Georgia designed by his fiancee, simplicity expert Zoë Kim, author of “Minimalism for Families.”

The two tramps in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, placed on a minimalist stage without time and without space, waiting interminably for the mysterious Godot, capture our bafflement with the meaning of existence.

Think delicate fan movements, fabulous outfits, and minimalist movements and sets.

At which point it becomes clear that we have entered a minimalist, bloodless horror movie.

Following a minimalist turn, Lady Gaga is back with a vengeance.

The dress is a classic, with its soft, lavender hue, chiffon fabric, and minimalist shape.

Though the minimalist view has been widely portrayed as more nuanced than the expansive one, that is mistaken.


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More About Minimalist

What does minimalist mean?

Minimalist is most generally used as an adjective describing a style or approach  that uses a small number of elements.

Minimalist can also be used to refer to a person who favors a style or approach.

More specifically, minimalist can refer to an artist who practices or uses Minimalism, which can refer to a type of painting or sculpture (sometimes called minimal art), music, or other art form. Art forms labeled minimalist typically use the simplest and fewest elements with the goal of creating the maximum effect.

The term minimalism can also be used in a more general way to refer to a minimalist style or approach.

The related adjective minimalistic is used to describe something that is stripped down to its most essential elements or uses only what is needed. Both minimalist and minimalistic can be used to describe things that are simplified and include only the most basic components, without embellishment.

Example: Jane says she’s a minimalist when it comes to interior design, but to me it just looks like her house is missing a lot of furniture.

Where does minimalist come from?

The first records of the word minimalist in English come from the early 1900s. Minimalist and its related forms are all built on the adjective minimal, which means “least possible.” Minimal is ultimately derived from the Latin minimus, meaning “smallest.”

The Minimalism art movement developed in the 1960s. The movement valued radical simplicity (like a painting of a single color) to prevent outside meaning being imposed on the artwork. In design and architecture, a minimalist look often consists of a neutral color palette and little adornment. Someone who leads a minimalist lifestyle usually has limited possessions, adhering to the motto “less is more.”

An even more specific use of the word Minimalist is to refer to a member of a faction of Russian revolutionaries in the early 1900s. By contrast, members of a more extreme faction were called Maximalists. The term maximalist can be used in a more general way as the opposite of minimalist, but this is uncommon.

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What are some other forms of minimalist?

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How is minimalist used in real life?

Minimalist is commonly used as an adjective to describe art or a simple lifestyle.



Try using minimalist!

Is minimalist used correctly in the following sentence?

The painting is very minimalist—it only uses a few simple shapes and muted colors.