min·i·mum | \ ˈmi-nə-məm \
plural minima\-nə-mə \ 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 2b) interval

3a : the lowest degree or amount of variation (as of temperature) reached or recorded

b : the lowest speed allowed on a highway

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Other words from minimum

minimum adjective

Examples of minimum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That was the case here, blunting enough of Belgium’s typically rampant attack to survive and advance with the minimum of fuss. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "France knocks off Belgium to reach World Cup final," 10 July 2018 The league is made up of nine teams with a minimum of eight players per team and generally attracts more than 100 men who compete each week. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Men relive their youth through JCC summer softball league," 3 July 2018 Preternaturally poised with a pre-Raphaelite presence joined to palpable strength, actress McKenzie conveys all this quiet assurance with a minimum of fuss. Kenneth Turan,, "'Leave No Trace' is a reminder that the movie world is better with Debra Granik in it," 28 June 2018 Its keepers know how to train animals to tolerate uncomfortable procedures — such as being stuck with a needle — with a minimum of stress. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Quincy the San Diego Zoo's diabetic koala, gets help from Dexcom," 25 June 2018 The food his cooks make is simple and simply served, with a minimum of narrative fuss. James Estrin, New York Times, "Discovering the Art of Craft," 19 June 2018 The complexes are designed to be portable and capable of rapidly moving into war zones, supporting special forces working in dangerous areas with a minimum of support. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Commandos Have Their Own Mobile, Modular Workshops," 30 May 2018 That was the spirit of Boston Calling on its second day, a combination of eagerness to explore combined with a desire to do so with a minimum of effort. Marc Hirsh,, "At Boston Calling, a missed opportunity to mix it up," 27 May 2018 On Wednesday, a judged sentenced her to life in prison with minimum of 12 years before being considered for parole, according to SkyNews. Harriet Sokmensuer,, "Jealous Woman Who Disfigured Ex With Acid, Leading Him to Euthanasia, Gets Life in Prison," 25 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for minimum

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minimum

The first known use of minimum was in 1646

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More Definitions for minimum



English Language Learners Definition of minimum

: the lowest number or amount that is possible or allowed


min·i·mum | \ ˈmi-nə-məm \
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 \
plural minima\-ə-mə \ 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

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Comments on minimum

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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