maximum

noun

max·​i·​mum ˈmak-s(ə-)məm How to pronounce maximum (audio)
plural maxima ˈmak-sə-mə How to pronounce maximum (audio) or maximums ˈmak-s(ə-)məmz How to pronounce maximum (audio)
1
a
: 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
maximum adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Insulting the president, a charge that can only be reported by the president, carries a maximum of three years. Reuters, CNN, 2 Dec. 2022 Under state law, Hoyle would have faced a maximum of three years in prison. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 26 Nov. 2022 Defendants ages 21 and under can apply for youthful offender status which, if granted, reduces punishment to a maximum of three years in detention and seals all records involving the case. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 19 Oct. 2022 The felony count carries a maximum of three years in prison, while the misdemeanor charges are punishable by up to six months each. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Oct. 2022 Participants should bring their own containers, maximum of three containers per household. Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2022 Central west Florida could see a maximum of 20 inches in some areas while northeast Florida will get between 6 and 10 inches with up to 1 foot in some areas. David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel, 27 Sep. 2022 The legislature and Lamont also enacted a child tax credit of $250 per child for a maximum of three children — meaning a reduction of $750 for the year from the state income tax. Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, 20 Sep. 2022 The punishment for unlawful use of narcotics in Finland is either a fine or a maximum of six months of imprisonment. Mary-ann Russon, NBC News, 19 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Latin, neuter of maximus biggest — more at maxim

First Known Use

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of maximum was in 1663

Dictionary Entries Near maximum

Cite this Entry

“Maximum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maximum. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

maximum

noun
max·​i·​mum ˈmak-s(ə-)məm How to pronounce maximum (audio)
plural maxima -sə-mə How to pronounce maximum (audio) or maximums
1
: the highest quantity, value, or development
2
: an upper limit allowed
maximum adjective

Medical Definition

maximum

noun
max·​i·​mum ˈmak-s(ə-)məm How to pronounce maximum (audio)
plural maxima -sə-mə How to pronounce maximum (audio) or maximums
1
a
: 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)
maximum adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on maximum

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