Definition of de minimis
- de minimis fringe benefits
- what amounts to a de minimis tax increase
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stock dividends that were decidedly de minimis
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Proponents of readable prose over jargon and legalese might argue that the last thing 20th-century American jurisprudence needed was another Latin term. Yet here we have a legal term that entered English only around 1950. Perhaps we should clarify: the legal doctrine of de minimis non curat lex ("the law does not concern itself with trifling matters") has been around for a while, but use of de minimis on its own is relatively recent. At first, the shortened phrase was simply used to refer to the legal doctrine itself ("the de minimis rule"). Then it came to be used more broadly as an adjective ("de minimis contacts with the defendant"). Finally, de minimis leaked out of the courtroom and into the world at large.
First Known Use: 1905See Words from the same year
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for de minimis
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to cause to suffer severely from hunger
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