[ min-uh-muh-list ]
/ ˈmɪn ə mə lɪst /


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.
a practitioner of minimalism in music or art.


of, relating to, or characteristic of minimalism.
being or offering no more than what is required or essential: a minimalist program for tax reform.

Nearby words

  1. minimal lethal dose,
  2. minimal pair,
  3. minimal reacting dose,
  4. minimalise,
  5. minimalism,
  6. minimalistic,
  7. minimalize,
  8. minimally,
  9. minimally invasive,
  10. minimarket

Origin of minimalist

1905–10; in political use < French minimaliste (see minimal, -ist), translation of Russian men'shevík Menshevik; subsequent uses perhaps recoinage with minimal, -ist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for minimalist

British Dictionary definitions for minimalist


/ (ˈmɪnɪməlɪst) /

noun (in early 20th-century Russia)

a member of the faction of the Social Revolutionaries that advocated immediate postrevolutionary democracy
a less common name for a Menshevik
Compare Maximalist


a person advocating a minimal policy, style, technique, action, etc
a minimal artist


of or relating to minimal art or artists
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

Word Origin and History for minimalist



1907; see minimal + -ist. Originally an Englishing of Menshevik (q.v.); in sense of "practitioner of minimal art" it is first recorded 1967; the term minimal art is from 1965. As an adjective from 1917 in the Russian political sense; 1969 in reference to art. Related: Minimalistic; Minimalism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper