max·​i·​mal | \ˈmak-s(ə-)məl \

Definition of maximal 

1 : being an upper limit : highest

2 : most comprehensive : complete

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Other Words from maximal

maximally adverb

Examples of maximal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The military’s pressure on civilian institutions comes just as the country’s political parties are exerting maximal effort to win seats in Parliament. Douglas Schorzman, New York Times, "In Pre-Election Pakistan, a Military Crackdown Is the Real Issue," 6 June 2018 Though taking a risk on the red carpet makes for one serious fashion gamble, Tracee Ellis Ross proved just how good the benefits of maximal dressing can be at the 2018 Producers Guild of America Awards, held in Los Angeles yesterday. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Tracee Ellis Ross Proves More Is More in Tory Burch," 21 Jan. 2018 Yes, writing a novel — you alone in a room with your own thoughts — might be the only way to get a maximal kind of satisfaction from your creative efforts. New York Times, "Jonathan Franzen Is Fine With All of It," 26 June 2018 But there is one area where Britain cannot opt for maximal separation, however great Mrs May’s appetite for self-harm. The Economist, "Britain is heading for a soft Brexit," 16 June 2018 In the best-case scenario, a maximal Israeli attack would leave a portion of Iran’s nuclear program intact, and Iran’s conventional forces would retain the capacity to retaliate against Israeli assets, including its nuclear facilities near Dimona. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Bibi Is Bent on Taking On Iran Alone," 5 June 2018 Those lenses provide maximal coverage, nestling in tight under the brows and dropping close to the cheek. Outside Online, "The Best Sunglasses of 2018," 15 May 2018 Time and again, when facing criticism about the Facebook’s role in elections, the company’s executives have promised to provide maximal transparency about the advertising that runs on their services. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Will Facebook's New Ad-Transparency Tools Protect Democracy?," 10 May 2018 But first, Esperion will need to convince the FDA that its therapy is not only effective but safe for the millions of patients whose high cholesterol persists despite maximal doses of available drugs. Damian Garde, STAT, "A tiny biotech’s plot to frustrate Regeneron and Sanofi runs into a safety problem," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maximal.' 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 maximal

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for maximal

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for maximal

The first known use of maximal was in 1882

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English Language Learners Definition of maximal

: greatest or highest possible


max·​i·​mal | \ˈmak-s(ə-)məl \

Medical Definition of maximal 

1 : most complete or effective maximal dental protection maximal vasodilation

2 : being an upper limit the maximal levels achieved with subcutaneous injections— W. S. Hoffman

Other Words from maximal

maximally \ -​ē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on maximal

Britannica English: Translation of maximal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on maximal

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by force of circumstances

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