min·​i·​mize | \ ˈmi-nə-ˌmīz How to pronounce minimize (audio) \
minimized; minimizing

Definition of minimize

transitive verb

1 : to reduce or keep to a minimum minimize costs minimize delays
2 : to underestimate intentionally : play down, soft-pedal minimizing losses in our own forces while maximizing those of the enemy
3 : to replace (a window) on a computer display with a small button or icon which will restore the window when selected

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Other Words from minimize

minimization \ ˌmi-​nə-​mə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce minimization (audio) \ noun
minimizer \ ˈmi-​nə-​ˌmī-​zər How to pronounce minimizer (audio) \ noun

Examples of minimize in a Sentence

We need to minimize the chance of error. The company will work to minimize costs. I don't want to minimize the contributions he has made to the company. During the interview, she minimized her weaknesses and emphasized her strengths. Please minimize all open windows.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The company’s 29 luxury lodges and camps are small, minimizing physical footprints, and hyper focused on sustainable practices. Pamela Wright,, "Leave the world a better place," 9 July 2019 The Warriors also appeared encouraged with Cousins overcoming two injuries, minimizing his frustrations with officials and playing time and showing flashes of his former self that landed four All-Star appearances. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "NBA free agency: DeMarcus Cousins agrees to deal with Lakers," 6 July 2019 But with the right cleanser — one meant to stop shine in its tracks — minimizing your shine can require far less work. Allure, "The 17 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin, According to Editors and Dermatologists," 5 July 2019 Our threshold at the moment is to maximize public safety and minimize over-alerting. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "LA’s earthquake warning system worked — just not how people expected," 5 July 2019 All wastewater from showers, laundry, toilets, and washing dishes enter the same system, meaning residents have been told to skip or minimize those activities. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Residents told don't flush your toilets, as sewage leaks into New Zealand's largest lake," 4 July 2019 The 50,500-square-foot building would step down from three stories at the corner to one story at the Dunham side, minimizing its mass next to the adjacent park-like setting occupied by Dunham Tavern, a historic, early 19th-century inn. Steven Litt,, "Cleveland Foundation plans to relocate from Playhouse Square to Midtown, despite legal tussle over site," 28 June 2019 The Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlaws discriminatory voting practices, prohibits redrawing districts for the purpose of minimizing the influence of racial minorities. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About Gerrymandering," 27 June 2019 To gratuitously label political opponents fascists and Nazis is not only politically counterproductive, but also minimizes the evil and horror of Nazism and the suffering of the millions of people who languished under that system. Karen Ann Cullotta,, "Chicago’s Jewish community split over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comparison of border detention to ‘concentration camps’," 24 June 2019

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

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for minimize

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minimize

The first known use of minimize was in 1825

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More Definitions for minimize



English Language Learners Definition of minimize

: to make (something bad or not wanted) as small as possible
: to treat or describe (something) as smaller or less important than it is
computers : to make (a program's window) change to a very small form that takes almost no room on a computer's screen


min·​i·​mize | \ ˈmi-nə-ˌmīz How to pronounce minimize (audio) \
minimized; minimizing

Kids Definition of minimize

1 : to make as small as possible Safety rules minimized the risks.
2 : to treat or describe (something) as smaller or less important than it is Don't minimize the impact of the discovery on science.
3 : to make (a program's window) change to a very small form that takes little room on a computer screen

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More from Merriam-Webster on minimize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minimize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minimize

Spanish Central: Translation of minimize

Nglish: Translation of minimize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of minimize for Arabic Speakers

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