[min-uh-muh m]

noun, plural min·i·mums, min·i·ma [min-uh-muh] /ˈmɪn ə mə/.


Origin of minimum

1655–65; < Latin, neuter of minimus smallest, least. See minor
Can be confusedminimal minimize minimum minuscule minutia (see usage note at minuscule) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for minimum

Contemporary Examples of minimum

Historical Examples of minimum

  • The thing is done with thoroughness, but at a minimum of cost.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • The inexperienced does not know how to meet them with a minimum of effort.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • This is the minimum amount which can be sold on the Exchange.

  • Horses and mules are placed in Class II, with a minimum weight of 1,400 kg.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • Actually, Arrill seemed to get along with a minimum of government.

British Dictionary definitions for minimum


noun plural -mums or -ma (-mə)

the least possible amount, degree, or quantity
the least amount recorded, allowed, or reachedthe minimum in our temperature record this month was 50°
(modifier) being the least possible, recorded, allowed, etcminimum age
maths a value of a function that is less than any neighbouring value


of or relating to a minimum or minimums

Word Origin for minimum

C17: from Latin: smallest thing, from minimus least
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 minimum

1660s, "smallest portion into which matter is divisible," from Latin minimum "smallest" (thing), neuter of minimus "smallest, least," superlative of minor "smaller" (see minor). Meaning "least amount attainable" is from 1670s.


1810, from minimum (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

minimum in Science



Plural minimums minima

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