• synonyms


[min-uh-muh l]
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  1. constituting a minimum: a minimal mode of transportation.
  2. barely adequate or the least possible: minimal care.
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Origin of minimal

First recorded in 1660–70; minim(um) + -al1
Related formsmin·i·mal·ly, adverbnon·min·i·mal, adjectivesub·min·i·mal, adjective
Can be confusedminimal minimize minimum minuscule minutia (see usage note at minuscule)


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2. nominal, minimum.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subminimal

Historical Examples

  • At all events, the total number of baptisms represents a subminimal estimate of population.

    The Aboriginal Population of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, California

    S. F. Cook

British Dictionary definitions for subminimal


  1. of the least possible; minimum or smallest
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Derived Formsminimally, adverb
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 subminimal



"smallest, least," 1660s, from Latin minimus (see minim) + -al (1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper