min·​i·​mum | \ ˈmi-nə-məm How to pronounce minimum (audio) \
plural minima\ ˈmi-​nə-​mə How to pronounce minimum (audio) \ or minimums

Definition of minimum

1 : the least quantity assignable, admissible, or possible Keep expenses to a bare minimum. He was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison.
2 : the least of a set of numbers specifically : the smallest value assumed by a continuous (see continuous sense 2) function defined on a closed (see closed sense 3b) interval
3a : the lowest degree or amount of variation (as of temperature) reached or recorded
b : the lowest speed allowed on a highway

Other Words from minimum

minimum adjective

Examples of minimum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web He was found to have a blood-alcohol content of .205, above the state minimum for drunk driving of .08. cleveland, 29 July 2022 McClanahan sat down the next 10 Orioles hitters and faced only 23, two more than the minimum. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 27 July 2022 Any unspent amount carries over to the next season on top of the minimum. New York Times, 24 July 2022 McClelland said officers in many of Texas’s smallest agencies receive only the state minimum of 40 hours of ongoing training every two years, while those at bigger agencies often far exceed that. Steve Thompson, Washington Post, 19 July 2022 Wages, including those above the minimum, haven't been keeping up. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 18 July 2022 What helps the Bulls in this regard is that Roby signed for slightly more than the minimum. Morten Jensen, Forbes, 5 July 2022 In addition, extending such a $6.5 million salary to Martin would likely preclude adding an outside free agent above the minimum. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 4 July 2022 Brewers starter Chi Chi Gonzalez settled in following Kirk’s one-out blast in the first, facing one over the minimum over the next three innings to continue somewhat of a quirky streak. Curt Hogg, Journal Sentinel, 26 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minimum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of minimum

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for minimum

Latin, neuter of minimus smallest; akin to Latin minor smaller — more at minor

Learn More About minimum

Time Traveler for minimum

Time Traveler

The first known use of minimum was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near minimum



minimum premium

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for minimum

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Minimum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for minimum


min·​i·​mum | \ ˈmi-nə-məm How to pronounce minimum (audio) \
plural minimums or minima\ -​mə \

Kids Definition of minimum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the lowest value : the least amount I need a minimum of two hours.



Kids Definition of minimum (Entry 2 of 2)

: being the least or lowest possible The minimum height for this ride is 42 inches.


min·​i·​mum | \ ˈmin-ə-məm How to pronounce minimum (audio) \
plural minima\ -​ə-​mə How to pronounce minimum (audio) \ or minimums

Medical Definition of minimum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the least quantity assignable, admissible, or possible
2 : the lowest degree or amount of variation (as of temperature) reached or recorded



Medical Definition of minimum (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or constituting a minimum meet the minimum psychiatric needs of the country— E. A. Strecker establishing minimum standards for medical educationCIBA Symposia


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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