de minimis

adjective de min·i·mis \ dē-ˈmi-nə-məs , dā-ˈmē-ni-mis \

Definition of de minimis

: lacking significance or importance : so minor as to merit disregard
  • de minimis fringe benefits
  • what amounts to a de minimis tax increase

de minimis was our Word of the Day on 08/19/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of de minimis in a Sentence

  1. stock dividends that were decidedly de minimis

Recent Examples of de minimis from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'de minimis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of de minimis

New Latin, concerning trifles


Law Dictionary

de minimis

adjective de min·i·mis \ dē-ˈmi-nə-məs, dā-ˈmē-ni-mis \

legal Definition of de minimis

: lacking significance or importance : so minor as to be disregarded — compare substantial
Note: An action may be dismissed if the claim or cause is considered de minimis.

Origin and Etymology of de minimis

New Latin, concerning trifles


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