min·​i·​mal·​ist | \-list \

Definition of minimalist 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who favors restricting the functions and powers of a political organization or the achievement of a set of goals to a minimum

2a : an artist who creates minimal art

b : an adherent of minimalism



Definition of minimalist (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or done in the style of minimalism

Examples of minimalist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her minimalist, functional approach re-shaped the fashion industry and has become the blueprint for many of her peers. Amanda Murray, Teen Vogue, "People Are Scrambling to Buy Old Céline After Hedi Slimane's Controversial Collection," 26 Oct. 2018 His animal sculptures, reproduced in the novel, recall the minimalist, pared-down human figures of Alberto Giacometti. Edgardo Franzosini, New York Times, "There’s More to Italian Fiction Than Elena Ferrante," 18 May 2018 The space will impress on its own, thanks to minimalist, mint green design by Concrete Amsterdam. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "We Can't Handle How Good the Food Will Be on Virgin Voyages," 7 Nov. 2018 There were minimalist slip-ons in sleek black-and-white combinations, a sneaker that looked almost like Allbirds but with techier fabric, and a rubbery slide with a millennial pink upper and a translucent red flatform. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Crocs is now targeting teens. Somehow, it’s working.," 1 Nov. 2018 Working with longtime friend and interior designer David Kent Richardson, Robinson celebrates the intimacy of the space, layering each level in black and accentuating the mood with surreal minimalist prints from Robert Motherwell. Vogue, "How St. Louis Restaurateur Zoë Robinson Has Stayed Front and Center in the Midwest Culinary Scene," 1 Nov. 2018 Traditionalists will appreciate a straightforward take on the pink faux-fowls of the past; minimalists might like something a little more stripped-down—literally. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Zombie Flamingos Will Scare The Flock Out Of Your Neighbors This Halloween," 20 Sep. 2018 Pizza toppings tend toward minimalist, and include soppressata, anchovies and olives. Fox News, "America's top 5 pizza restaurants," 28 Jan. 2016 Of the Moroccan styles, the Beni Ourain is the most well suited for a modern minimalist chic aesthetic. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "How to Buy, and Style, a Vintage Moroccan Rug," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The designers presenting their third womenswear collection for the fashion house have shown their mastery of the Sander minimalist aesthetic but have developed the confidence to imbue it with some nostalgia. Colleen Barry, Fox News, "Milan Fashion: Arbesser embraces sustainability," 19 Sep. 2018 The 20,726-square-foot waterfront property, which features a minimalist aesthetic, boasts six bedrooms and seven-and-a-half bathrooms. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Live Like Shakira for $11.6 Million—Her Miami Beach Home is for Sale," 1 June 2018 That means a stylish, minimalist exterior, featuring aluminum yokes, a steel headband, and a lot of high-quality plastic. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Microsoft Surface Headphones review: all the style without the polish," 15 Nov. 2018 Two words: capsule wardrobe, a term that refers to a minimalist, highly practical closet featuring a limited amount of beloved, highly versatile garments that can be styled together in multiple ways. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "The 8 Best Lessons I Learned Living the Lagom Life," 31 Oct. 2018 The color After years of minimalist neutral-tone phones, the iPhone XR is a welcome pop of color. Hanna Howard, Teen Vogue, "iPhone XR Review," 26 Oct. 2018 The game is full of player choices that don’t always seem, on the surface, like relevant narrative turning points, thanks to RDR II's minimalist approach. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018 And so my mom found a compromise: white canvas slip-on Keds, which came in a wide width and made my duck feet look surprisingly narrow, thanks to their minimalist design. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My White Slip-On Keds," 3 Oct. 2018 Frameless glass shower doors and enclosures have increased in popularity as homeowners desire a cleaner, more minimalist and less cluttered look. Stacy Argo, Houston Chronicle, "Sleek, modern shower doors provide streamlined look," 8 July 2018

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


1906, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1929, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for minimalist

The first known use of minimalist was in 1906

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English Language Learners Definition of minimalist

: of, relating to, or following a style in art, literature, or music that is very simple and uses a small number of colors, parts, materials, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on minimalist

Nglish: Translation of minimalist for Spanish Speakers

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living or existing for a long time

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