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 minimize (audio) \ noun
minimizer \ ˈmi-​nə-​ˌmī-​zər How to pronounce minimize (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 sheriff’s office encourages the public to use the telephone reporting system 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 301-475-8008 to minimize social contact. Washington Post, "Southern Maryland crime report," 28 Apr. 2021 To minimize contact with others while waiting for the test results to come back, I was asked to stay in my room and have breakfast delivered to me. Lilit Marcus, CNN, "I traveled to Sri Lanka and it felt like I was the only tourist in the entire country," 22 Apr. 2021 Some Cowboys players and coaches stayed at the Omni Hotel on The Star in Frisco campus to minimize contact with the general public. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Despite what Texas and other states decide, NFLPA wants players to stay vigilant, wear masks," 3 Mar. 2021 Local school boards are encouraged to minimize face-to-face contact and to allow those staff members to social distance, modify job tasks or work remotely. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "Retooled school reopening bill clears North Carolina General Assembly, heads to Cooper," 18 Feb. 2021 Shawn Hauver, managing director of Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania, says that all mountain visitors will need to purchase lift tickets, passes, and ski rentals in advance online to minimize contact with others, for instance. Elizabeth Gulino,, "Hitting The Slopes During The Pandemic? Read This First," 18 Dec. 2020 The ski hill has installed takeout windows and kiosks to minimize contact when ordering food. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Restaurant win, skiing changes, seafood boost: News from around our 50 states," 11 Dec. 2020 Everything about the event was meant to minimize interpersonal contact. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer,, "Krampus delights with Ho Ho horrible drive-through Christmas ‘parade’," 6 Dec. 2020 That’s helpful when trying to minimize contact with the coronavirus. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Tell the wine lover in your life to ‘zip it’ this holiday season," 1 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for minimize

Time Traveler

The first known use of minimize was in 1825

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Statistics for minimize

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Minimize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on minimize

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