- being such in name only; so-called; putative: a nominal treaty; the nominal head of the country.
- (of a price, consideration, etc.) named as a mere matter of form, being trifling in comparison with the actual value; minimal.
- of, relating to, or constituting a name or names.
- of, relating to, or producing a noun or nouns: a nominal suffix.
- functioning as or like a noun.
- assigned to a person by name: nominal shares of stock.
- containing, bearing, or giving a name or names.
- (of money, income, or the like) measured in an amount rather than in real value: Nominal wages have risen 50 percent, but real wages are down because of inflation.
- Aerospace. performing or achieved within expected, acceptable limits; normal and satisfactory: The mission was nominal throughout.
- Slang. done smoothly as expected: The space shot was nominal, proceeding without a hitch.
- Grammar. a word or group of words functioning as a noun.
Origin of nominal
- placed before a noun, esp (of an adjective or sense of an adjective) used only before a noun
- of or relating to a praenomen
- in name only; theoreticalthe nominal leader
- minimal in comparison with real worth or what is expected; tokena nominal fee
- of, relating to, constituting, bearing, or giving a name
- grammar of or relating to a noun or noun phrase
- grammar a nominal element; a noun, noun phrase, or syntactically similar structure
- bell-ringing the harmonic an octave above the strike tone of a bell
Word Origin and History for prenominal
early 15c., "pertaining to nouns," from Latin nominalis "pertaining to a name or names," from nomen (genitive nominis) "name," cognate with Old English nama (see name (n.)). Meaning "of the nature of names" (in distinction to things) is from 1610s. Meaning "being so in name only" first recorded 1620s.