maximum

noun
max·​i·​mum | \ ˈmak-s(ə-)məm How to pronounce maximum (audio) \
plural maxima\ ˈmak-​sə-​mə How to pronounce maxima (audio) \ or maximums\ ˈmak-​s(ə-​)məmz How to pronounce maximums (audio) \

Definition of maximum

1a : the greatest quantity or value attainable or attained
b : the period of highest, greatest, or utmost development
2 : an upper limit allowed (as by a legal authority) or allowable (as by the circumstances of a particular case)
3 : the largest of a set of numbers specifically : the largest value assumed by a real-valued continuous function defined on a closed interval

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Other Words from maximum

maximum adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for maximum

Synonyms

max, most, outside

Antonyms

least, minimum

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Examples of maximum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Having failed at maximum pressure, @SecPompeo's turning to maximum deceit. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh under fire again, GM workers' strike, and oil prices soar: The Morning Rundown," 16 Sep. 2019 Liam Gallagher lived his twenties and thirties as rock’s maximum jackass, greeting the world middle fingers first as the front man of the 1990s-defining band Oasis. Kyle Smith, National Review, "A Bad Boy Faces Middle Age," 11 Sep. 2019 The state agreed to pay $1 million to the families of the people Spencer is accused of killing, the maximum settlement allowed by law. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Charlie Graddick says it will take weeks to resume parole hearings," 9 Sep. 2019 The pub was at maximum capacity, with about 200 people packed into the space, according to Goodyear Fire Department spokesman Jason Richmond. Molly Duerig, azcentral, "‘Heart of a warrior’: Family, firefighters pay tribute to Goodyear fire Engineer Austin Peck," 7 Sep. 2019 Pro-Brexit British politicians have been pushing for a deal that would give them maximum freedom to strike new trade pacts with other countries, including the United States. Washington Post, "Pence tiptoes past Brexit tumult for an oh-so-chipper chat," 6 Sep. 2019 Broward Emergency Management Director Tracy Jackson said the county’s goal is to have about 1,800 shelter workers trained and available, which would be the maximum staff needed to operate all the shelters at maximum capacity. Larry Barszewski, sun-sentinel.com, "Hurricane shelters still face staff shortage," 28 Aug. 2019 Tickets to the event are $2,800 each, the maximum contribution an individual can make to a presidential campaign committee. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg visiting Greenwich to line campaign coffers," 26 Aug. 2019 The radio can be muted until the driver and front passenger seat belts are fastened, and the radio's maximum volume can be set to a lower level. Dallas News, "Chevrolet adds a Buckle To Drive feature to its Teen Driver safety system," 22 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of maximum

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for maximum

Latin, neuter of maximus biggest — more at maxim

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Statistics for maximum

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maximum

The first known use of maximum was in 1663

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More Definitions for maximum

maximum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of maximum

: the highest number or amount that is possible or allowed

maximum

noun
max·​i·​mum | \ ˈmak-sə-məm How to pronounce maximum (audio) \
plural maxima\ -​sə-​mə \ or maximums

Kids Definition of maximum

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the highest value : greatest amount We had to pay the maximum.

maximum

adjective

Kids Definition of maximum (Entry 2 of 3)

: as great as possible in amount or degree We work with maximum efficiency.

maximum

adverb

Kids Definition of maximum (Entry 3 of 3)

: at the most … it will only take her two minutes—maximum—to get home.— Betsy Byars, The Computer Nut

maximum

noun
max·​i·​mum | \ ˈmak-s(ə-)məm How to pronounce maximum (audio) \
plural maxima\ -​sə-​mə How to pronounce maxima (audio) \ or maximums

Medical Definition of maximum

1a : the greatest quantity or value attainable or attained
b : the period of highest, greatest, or utmost development
2 : an upper limit allowed (as by a legal authority) or allowable (as by the circumstances of a particular case)

Other Words from maximum

maximum adjective

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Comments on maximum

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