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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The Kremlin on Tuesday again sought to minimize the significance of Mr. Navalny’s case, issuing a veiled warning to the European Union’s top foreign policy official, Josep Borrell Fontelles, who plans to visit Moscow this week. New York Times, "Russian Activist Navalny Sentenced to More Than 2 Years in Prison," 2 Feb. 2021 Tribal governments urged fishers to start social distancing even before heading to the river, to minimize their contacts with people outside their own households, and to get tested for COVID-19 through tribal clinics. Special To The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "COVID-19 restaurant downtown, health risks pack double blow to tribal fishers, salmon business," 12 Jan. 2021 Even so, Pelosi must minimize the number of Democrats opposing her. Alan Fram, ajc, "Pelosi likely speaker again, but might require high-wire act," 30 Dec. 2020 The count doesn’t minimize the violence, but expands it. Tim Prudente,, "A spokeswoman for the state’s attorney expected questions about Baltimore’s 300th homicide; she didn’t expect it would be a man she’d loved," 28 Dec. 2020 Crews were kept in the same small groups to minimize cross-contaminating work environments and equipment, and to mitigate risk for incoming guests. Rachel Ahtila, Outdoor Life, "The Canadian Outfitters Who Survived 2020 Are Rewarded with Another Uncertain Season," 27 Dec. 2020 But limited fans inside Houston’s arena will minimize that negative atmosphere and potentially give the Rockets more time to find the best deal. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Opinion: James Harden is trying to be a disruptor, and it's working. His antics could poison Rockets.," 24 Dec. 2020 And most importantly, all of the players minimize their egos for the good of the team, and that is what makes the game plan work. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Dolphins’ defense deserves praise for going from worst to first in a year | Commentary," 23 Dec. 2020 Overall, Price says, his goal is to minimize direct, face-to-face interactions with his pint-sized visitors. Mary Colurso |, al, "Santas in Alabama need a little extra magic this year (and maybe a plexiglass shield)," 22 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.

See More

First Known Use of minimize

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minimize

Time Traveler for minimize

Time Traveler

The first known use of minimize was in 1825

See more words from the same year

Statistics for minimize

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Minimize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on minimize

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!