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 Candidates and the public need some time to ramp up their efforts; doing so in small states minimizes some of the consequences of mistakes that inevitably happen. Charles Stewart Iii, Wired, "The Saving Grace of the Iowa Caucus Meltdown," 4 Feb. 2020 To help minimize losses, install lightning rods toward the top of your highest-value trees and ground the coils, Tancig said. Washington Post, "Extreme weather has gardeners looking for resilient plants," 4 Feb. 2020 However, to minimize risk, keep an eye on local media reports to gauge which areas are most affected. Wufei Yu, Outside Online, "Adventure Detours in the World's Most Visited Cities," 27 Jan. 2020 The politicians minimize the problem, while the courts refuse to get involved. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "America’s Climate Refugees Are Pleading for Help. The Government Has No Answer.," 24 Jan. 2020 More states taking the plunge is essential for minimizing greenhouse gases, seeing as the U.S. is the second biggest emissions producer in the world, and that a full quarter of its emissions come from energy production. TheWeek, "Arizona's biggest energy provider is going coal free by 2031 and carbon free by 2050," 22 Jan. 2020 Other local governments found creative ways to minimize King by generalizing the holiday, so as not to name him, or creating a dual holiday, so the honor wouldn’t be his exclusively. Elaine Ayala,, "Ayala: San Antonio overcompensates for the sins of others with its MLK events," 14 Jan. 2020 But the blow in Birmingham is minimized by the fact that other airlines provide service to Orlando and Denver – the two destinations to which Frontier flew. al, "Boeing 737 Max grounding blamed for Frontier’s exodus from Mobile," 7 Jan. 2020 In the original musical, the plot is minimized, but in the movie the plot assumes a proportion that just gets in the way of the fun. Los Angeles Times, "‘Cats’ lovers say critics overlooked the music, dance — and some award-worthy acting," 2 Jan. 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

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Minimize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for minimize


How to pronounce minimize (audio)

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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