min·​i·​mal ˈmi-nə-məl How to pronounce minimal (audio)
: relating to or being a minimum: such as
: the least possible
a victory won with minimal loss of life
: barely adequate
a minimal standard of living
: very small or slight
a minimal interest in art
often capitalized : of, relating to, or being minimal art or minimalism
minimally adverb

Example Sentences

The storm caused minimal damage. areas at minimal risk for flooding
Recent Examples on the Web The best part of both machines is that the weight penalty is minimal. Car and Driver, 13 Jan. 2023 The passenger list is minimal, a scant handful of sleepy tourists, bored businessmen, and one seething, malevolent dude in handcuffs (Luke Cage star Mike Colter) being repatriated to the States on an unknown murder charge. Leah Greenblatt,, 12 Jan. 2023 Post-exertional malaise is an overwhelming exhaustion after even a minimal amount of effort. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 11 Jan. 2023 Despite more than 4,000 protesters taking the streets of the capital, police presence was minimal. Byaicha El Hammar Castano, ABC News, 8 Jan. 2023 Donald Trump’s influence this week was minimal at best. NBC News, 8 Jan. 2023 This is the trend where employees put in a minimal amount of effort just to get through the workday. Allbusiness, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022 Turkey may have been served, but the minimal amount of documentation available for the time suggests a tribe of Wampanoag Indigenous people provided five deer for the event. Steve Meyer | Alaska Outdoors, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Nov. 2022 Storage for Android TV is always tough because hardware manufacturers want to make smart TV and set-top-box hardware as cheaply as possible, and that often means shipping with a minimal amount of storage. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of minimal was in 1666

Dictionary Entries Near minimal

Cite this Entry

“Minimal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


min·​i·​mal ˈmin-ə-məl How to pronounce minimal (audio)
: relating to or being a minimum : least
minimally adverb

Medical Definition


min·​i·​mal ˈmin-ə-məl How to pronounce minimal (audio)
: 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 … treatmentJ. S. Keene et al.
residents receive a minimal level of personal careA. S. Oser
side effects are minimal

More from Merriam-Webster on minimal

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