max·​i·​mal | \ ˈmak-s(ə-)məl \

Definition of maximal

1 : being an upper limit : highest
2 : most comprehensive : complete

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from maximal

maximally adverb

Examples of maximal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Even the fittest women (which the study participants were) must work at maximal physical capacity when carrying a 100-pound pack or repeatedly loading heavy shells into a cannon. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, "Women Don’t Belong in Combat Units," 13 Jan. 2019 Strength: 6 or fewer reps, 2-6 sets Developing maximal strength requires lifting heavy, generally for 6 reps or fewer. SELF, "Your Guide to Navigating the Free Weights at the Gym," 12 Jan. 2019 One of the hallmarks of Smart Cities is the maximal openness and availability of the data that's collected to make a smart city possible. Dan Rosenbaum, Ars Technica, "All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things," 7 Dec. 2018 Their tricks? Minimal dresses with maximal oomph to end the couture week, as worn by Naomi Watts (in Rochas) and Bianca Brandolini d’Adda (in Dundas). Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "10 Best Dressed: Week of July 16, 2018," 16 July 2018 That should emulsify it evenly and provide each droplet with maximal eggsulation against pooling together. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Why Pastured Eggs Are the Perfect Food," 13 Sep. 2018 This provided maximal security but meant that there was no way of saving data or otherwise permanently retaining information from the virtualized websites. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows 10 to get disposable sandboxes for dodgy apps," 9 Aug. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of maximal

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about maximal

Dictionary Entries near maximal








Statistics for maximal

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maximal

The first known use of maximal was in 1882

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for maximal



English Language Learners Definition of maximal

technical : 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maximal

Britannica English: Translation of maximal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on maximal

What made you want to look up maximal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!