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

From minimalists to Instagram maximalists, there's a brand out there for everyone., "9 Newly Launched Swim Brands To Keep You Ahead Of The Game," 5 July 2018 Atwood’s style lives in the confluence of minimalist and maximalist philosophy. Kaitlyn Wylde, Vogue, "A First Look Inside Rebecca Atwood’s New Nolita Store, Where Prints Prevail," 15 May 2018 From burly, larger-volume packs that can transition into overnighters to fast-and-light minimalist packs, there’s a daypack for you on this list. Graham Averill, Outside Online, "The Daypacks We Use for Hiking," 11 July 2018 Sisters Ilona Hamer and Peta Heinsen have been making waves stateside as of late with their minimalist—but nevertheless Instagram-worthy!—swimwear label, Matteau, and last night’s dinner at Tribeca’s Yves was testament to that. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Swimwear Label Matteau Makes a Splash Stateside," 6 June 2018 Prepare for your tear through the neighborhood with a hearty bowl of noodles at Ramenka, a minimalist, Japanese-style ramen bar. New York Times, "36 Hours in Budapest," 29 Mar. 2018 Being a minimalist has helped me make the jump to freelancing full time and going all in on the things that excite me or bring me joy. Mandy Ferreira, Good Housekeeping, "Let Me Tell You What It’s Really Like To Be A Minimalist," 25 Oct. 2017 Perhaps the album of Davis’ most experimental period that received the least applause or reaction, the minimalist Get Up With It! Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Reggie Lucas Dead at 65: 11 of His Essential Cuts as a Jazz Sideman," 21 May 2018 In Bloch’s minimalist, loose-limbed pen-and-ink art, tiny people try valiantly to pitch in, too. 32 pp. Maria Russo, New York Times, "Enchanting New Picture Books," 11 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Inside there’s a gleaming white helm, with two captains chairs, and living quarters that wouldn’t look out of place in 2001: A Space Odyssey, with an almost harshly minimalist white design. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Funky Boat Circling the Planet on Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Gas," 5 July 2018 If this was not permission enough, I had also been inspired by the courageously minimalist flat of some London friends, journalist Jassim Ahmad and designer Daniel Baer. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A library and an unexpected journey toward household togetherness," 28 June 2018 There are women who dress up incredibly, like Iris [Apfel], and then somebody could be very minimalist. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Isabella Rossellini on Aging with Confidence—and 6 Wise Tips for a Beautiful Life," 18 Apr. 2018 His design needs and wants were short and simple: highlight and display his impressive art collection (including a Liechtenstein, a Keith Haring and multiple Mapplethorpe’s) against clean, white walls with non-competing, minimalist decor. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "How Concrete Modernized A Former Celebrity-Owned Condo in New York," 18 June 2018 The score paired electronica and minimalist piano by Anna Thorvaldsdottir Sesamol and Angus MacRae. Claudia Bauer,, "SF choreographer Amy Seiwert’s risky Sketch lab pays off," 29 June 2018 Then, the Three Stripes finally announced the sneaker themselves and the Yung-1 saw its first major stateside release earlier this month as part of a $1,500-or-nothing package deal with the minimalist brand Wardrobe NYC. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Adidas's Hardest-To-Get Sneaker Can Finally Be Yours," 28 June 2018 Its modern, minimalist styling is a cut above budget models. Hartford Courant,, "CNET: Best TVs For Watching The World Cup 2018," 21 June 2018 The couple has learned to lead a minimalist lifestyle and claims their intimate quarters has brought them closer together. Samantha Brodsky, Country Living, "These Newlyweds Live In a 366-Square-Foot Grain Silo," 8 Aug. 2016

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

13 Oct 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

Comments on minimalist

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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