nominal


1nom·i·nal

adjective \ˈnä-mə-nəl, ˈnäm-nəl\

: existing as something in name only : not actual or real

: very small in amount

Full Definition of NOMINAL

1
:  of, relating to, or being a noun or a word or expression taking a noun construction
2
a :  of, relating to, or constituting a name
b :  bearing the name of a person
3
a :  existing or being something in name or form only <nominal head of his party>
b :  of, being, or relating to a designated or theoretical size that may vary from the actual :  approximate <the pipe's nominal size>
c :  trifling, insignificant <his involvement was nominal> <charged only nominal rent>
4
of a rate of interest
a :  equal to the annual rate of simple interest that would obtain if interest were not compounded when in fact it is compounded and paid for periods of less than a year
b :  equal to the percentage by which a repaid loan exceeds the principal borrowed with no adjustment made for inflation
5
:  being according to plan :  satisfactory <everything was nominal during the launch>
nom·i·nal·ly adverb

Examples of NOMINAL

  1. Her title of vice president had been nominal only.
  2. They charge a nominal fee for the service.
  3. What gave it resonance was that she was reflecting—in a fun-house mirror—the thuggish behavior of her nominal betters. —Hendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2005

Origin of NOMINAL

Middle English nominalle, from Medieval Latin nominalis, from Latin, of a name, from nomin-, nomen name — more at name
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

2nom·i·nal

noun \ˈnä-mə-nəl, ˈnäm-nəl\

Definition of NOMINAL

:  a word or word group functioning as a noun

Origin of NOMINAL

(see 1nominal)
First Known Use: 1904

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

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