min·​i·​mal | \ ˈmi-nə-məl \

Definition of minimal

1 : relating to or being a minimum: such as
a : the least possible a victory won with minimal loss of life
b : barely adequate a minimal standard of living
c : very small or slight a minimal interest in art
2 often capitalized : of, relating to, or being minimal art or minimalism

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Other Words from minimal

minimally \ -​mə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of minimal in a Sentence

The storm caused minimal damage. areas at minimal risk for flooding

Recent Examples on the Web

The European Union’s Nickel Directive ensures that jewelry and other worn products release minimal amounts of nickel onto your skin—0.5 micrograms per cm per week to be exact. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Tyvek Time? These Watches Are Made of Recycled Home Wrap," 13 Nov. 2018 The dining room has become another workspace for Joo and husband, who gather maximum friends and materials amongst a minimal amount of furniture for functionality. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "Inside a TriBeCa Loft Filled with Not-Your-Grandmother’s Antiques," 9 Oct. 2018 The test that Blair and James took emerged from work done by forensic scientists trying to predict eye, hair and skin color for unknown suspects in criminal cases for which minimal amounts of DNA is available. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Is It Ethical to Choose Your Baby’s Eye Color?," 2 Oct. 2018 After getting only a minimal amount of clay in his hairline and snapping a few selfies, Noah appears to understand the power of a good DIY spa treatment. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Noah Centineo Tried Braiding a Fan’s Hair and Used Multiple Face Masks," 21 Sep. 2018 After getting only a minimal amount of clay in his hairline and snapping a few requisite selfies, Centineo appears to understand the power of a good DIY spa treatment. Andrea Park, Allure, "We Challenged Noah Centineo to Try Our Favorite Beauty Treatments and the Results Are Amazing," 21 Sep. 2018 By inputting parameters like room dimension and shape, the program is able to devise a design that uses the minimal amount of concrete necessary to support a two-story timber structure that sits above the ceiling. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Cool rippling concrete ceiling was made with 3D printing," 7 Aug. 2018 Johnson tries too hard to make all his mayhem meaningful, to minimal effect. Noel Murray,, "Tough guy Scott Adkins is the right fit for 'The Debt Collector'," 31 May 2018 There are obvious reasons why even a fairly minimal commitment to bipartisanship, combined with interest in foreign policy, might be an especially potent nostalgia formula right now. Julia Azari, Vox, "Death of a statesman: George H.W. Bush’s legacy," 6 Dec. 2018

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

1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for minimal

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minimal

The first known use of minimal was in 1666

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More Definitions for minimal



English Language Learners Definition of minimal

: very small or slight in size or amount


min·​i·​mal | \ ˈmin-ə-məl \

Medical Definition of minimal

: relating to or being a minimum : constituting the least possible with respect to size, number, degree, or certain stated conditions tuberosity fractures heal with minimal…treatment— J. S. Keene et al residents receive a minimal level of personal care— A. S. Oser side effects are minimal

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More from Merriam-Webster on minimal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minimal

Spanish Central: Translation of minimal

Nglish: Translation of minimal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of minimal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on minimal

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


to gather or build up little by little

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