1

miniature

noun min·i·a·ture \ ˈmi-nē-ə-ˌchu̇r , ˈmi-ni-ˌchu̇r , ˈmin-yə- , -chər , -ˌtyu̇r , -ˌtu̇r \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of miniature

1 a :a copy on a much reduced scale
  • The designer displayed a miniature of the Washington, D.C. Mall.
b :something small of its kind
  • The little boy looked like his father in miniature.
2 :a painting in an illuminated (see 2illuminate 4) book or manuscript
3 :the art of painting miniatures
  • The artist excelled in miniature.
4 :a very small portrait or other painting (as on ivory or metal)
  • The lady wore a locket containing a miniature of her mother.

miniaturist

play \-ˌchu̇r-ist, -chər-, -ˌtyu̇r-, -ˌtu̇r-\ noun

miniaturistic

play \ˌmi-nē-ə-chə-ˈris-tik, ˌmi-ni-, ˌmin-yə-, -ˌtyu̇-, -ˌtu̇-\ adjective
in miniature
:in a greatly diminished size, form, or scale

Examples of miniature in a Sentence

  1. a diorama filled with miniatures of town buildings as they looked in the 19th century

Recent Examples of miniature from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of miniature

Italian miniatura art of illuminating a manuscript, from Medieval Latin, from Latin miniatus, past participle of miniare to color with minium, from minium red lead


2

miniature

adjective

Definition of miniature

:being or represented on a small scale

Examples of miniature in a Sentence

  1. a collection of miniature books

  2. The little boy looks like a miniature version of his father.

Recent Examples of miniature from the Web

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

First Known Use of miniature

1714

Synonym Discussion of miniature

small, little, diminutive, minute, tiny, miniature mean noticeably below average in size. small and little are often interchangeable, but small applies more to relative size determined by capacity, value, number.
    • a relatively small backyard
little is more absolute in implication often carrying the idea of petiteness, pettiness, insignificance, or immaturity.
    • your pathetic little smile
diminutive implies abnormal smallness.
    • diminutive bonsai plants
minute implies extreme smallness.
    • a minute amount of caffeine in the soda
tiny is an informal equivalent to minute.
    • tiny cracks formed in the painting
miniature applies to an exactly proportioned reproduction on a very small scale.
    • a dollhouse with miniature furnishings

MINIATURE Defined for English Language Learners

miniature

noun

Definition of miniature for English Language Learners

  • : a very small sculpture, portrait, or painting


miniature

adjective

Definition of miniature for English Language Learners

  • : very small


MINIATURE Defined for Kids

1

miniature

noun min·i·a·ture \ ˈmi-nē-ə-ˌchu̇r , ˈmi-ni-ˌchu̇r \

Definition of miniature for Students

1 :a copy of something that is much smaller than the original I made a miniature of the Eiffel Tower.
2 :a very small portrait or painting

History for miniature

Minium was the Latin name for a red pigment used in ancient times. In the days before printed books, this substance was used to decorate manuscripts. The Latin verb meaning to color with minium was miniare. In early Italian, its meaning was broadened to the point where it simply meant “to decorate a manuscript,” and the noun miniatura was used to refer to any manuscript illustration, no matter what color. Since the illustrations in manuscripts (called illuminations) are small by comparison with most other paintings, the word miniature, borrowed into English from Italian miniature, came to mean any small painting, and eventually anything very small.


2

miniature

adjective

Definition of miniature for Students

:very small
  • miniature books
  • a miniature breed of dogs


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