Dictionary

1miniature

noun min·i·a·ture \ˈmi-nē-ə-ˌchr, ˈmi-ni-ˌchr, ˈmin-yə-, -chər, -ˌtyr, -ˌtr\

: a very small sculpture, portrait, or painting

Full Definition of MINIATURE

1
a :  a copy on a much reduced scale
b :  something small of its kind
2
:  a painting in an illuminated book or manuscript
3
:  the art of painting miniatures
4
:  a very small portrait or other painting (as on ivory or metal)
min·i·a·tur·ist \-ˌchr-ist, -chər-, -ˌtyr-, -ˌtr-\ noun
min·i·a·tur·is·tic \ˌmi-nē-ə-chə-ˈris-tik, ˌmi-ni-, ˌmin-yə-, -ˌty-, -ˌt-\ adjective
in miniature
:  in a greatly diminished size, form, or scale

Examples of MINIATURE

  1. <a diorama filled with miniatures of town buildings as they looked in the 19th century>

Origin of MINIATURE

Italian miniatura art of illuminating a manuscript, from Medieval Latin, from Latin miniatus, past participle of miniare to color with minium, from minium red lead
First Known Use: circa 1586

2miniature

adjective

: very small

Full Definition of MINIATURE

:  being or represented on a small scale

Examples of MINIATURE

  1. a collection of miniature books
  2. The little boy looks like a miniature version of his father.

First Known Use of MINIATURE

1714

Synonym Discussion of MINIATURE

small, little, diminutive, minute, tiny, miniature mean noticeably below average in size. small and little are often interchangeable, but small applies more to relative size determined by capacity, value, number <a relatively small backyard>. little is more absolute in implication often carrying the idea of petiteness, pettiness, insignificance, or immaturity <your pathetic little smile>. diminutive implies abnormal smallness <diminutive bonsai plants>. minute implies extreme smallness <a minute amount of caffeine in the soda>. tiny is an informal equivalent to minute <tiny cracks formed in the painting>. miniature applies to an exactly proportioned reproduction on a very small scale <a dollhouse with miniature furnishings>.
MINIATURE Defined for Kids

1miniature

noun min·i·a·ture \ˈmi-nē-ə-ˌchr, ˈmi-ni-ˌchr\

Definition of MINIATURE for Kids

1
:  a copy of something that is much smaller than the original <I made a miniature of the Eiffel Tower.>
2
:  a very small portrait or painting

Word History of MINIATURE

Minium was the Latin name for a red pigment used in ancient times. In the days before printed books, this substance was used to decorate manuscripts. The Latin verb meaning to color with minium was miniare. In early Italian, its meaning was broadened to the point where it simply meant to decorate a manuscript, and the noun miniatura was used to refer to any manuscript illustration, no matter what color. Since the illustrations in manuscripts (called illuminations) are small by comparison with most other paintings, the word miniature, borrowed into English from Italian miniature, came to mean any small painting, and eventually anything very small.

2miniature

adjective

Definition of MINIATURE for Kids

:  very small <miniature books> <a miniature breed of dogs>

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