[ min-uh-skyool, mi-nuhs-kyool ]
/ ˈmɪn əˌskyul, mɪˈnʌs kyul /


very small.
(of letters or writing) small; not capital.
written in such letters (opposed to majuscule).


a minuscule letter.
a small cursive script developed in the 7th century a.d. from the uncial, which it afterward superseded.

Origin of minuscule

First recorded in 1695–1705, minuscule is from the Latin word minusculus smallish. See minus, -cule1

Related forms

mi·nus·cu·lar, adjective

Can be confused

minimal minimize minimum minuscule minutia (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

Minuscule, from Latin minus meaning “less,” has frequently come to be spelled miniscule, perhaps under the influence of the prefix mini- in the sense “of a small size.” Although this newer spelling is criticized by many, it occurs with such frequency in edited writing that some consider it a variant spelling rather than a misspelling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for minuscule

British Dictionary definitions for minuscule


/ (ˈmɪnəˌskjuːl) /


a lower-case letter
writing using such letters
a small cursive 7th-century style of lettering derived from the uncial


relating to, printed in, or written in small lettersCompare majuscule
very small
(of letters) lower-case

Derived Forms

minuscular (mɪˈnʌskjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin for minuscule

C18: from French, from Latin (littera) minuscula very small (letter), diminutive of minor
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