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

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Other Words from minimum

minimum adjective

Examples of minimum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ubisoft made that much clear in a recent statement to IGN: Assassin's Creed Valhalla will run at a minimum of 30 fps. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Some Xbox Series X games won’t hit 60fps “performance target”," 13 May 2020 The company declined to say what the minimums were before but acknowledged they’ve been raised. Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times, "Even if you want to buy a home, it’s harder now to get a loan. Or tap home equity," 7 May 2020 To order a pack of disposable 3-layer civilian masks (minimum is 50), click here. Amanda Randone,, "Here’s Where You Can Buy Non-Medical Face Masks Online Right Now," 9 Apr. 2020 The minimum for purchasing during an appointment is $25, as the time is intended for shopping, and not just a relaxing break in a garden. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "A moment of zen: You can book a private shopping appointment at this Phoenix plant store," 25 Mar. 2020 Staying current — paying the minimum is fine during a crisis — is key to maintaining a good relationship with the card issuer. Suze Orman, NBC News, "Suze Orman: 3 smart money moves to make during this uncertain time," 23 Mar. 2020 The mandatory minimum for all combined counts is 15 years. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former bar owner found guilty of starting the fire that destroyed his downtown Waukesha business," 28 Feb. 2020 The bare minimum is a forecast of $20 million for 2020, with a high end $92 million. oregonlive, "Failing forestry: Seven months into two-year budget, forestry department is almost broke; seeks emergency infusion," 12 Feb. 2020 The deal has an annual average salary of around $1.6 million -- the minimum -- and years two, three and four of the contract are all non-guaranteed. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers sign Alfonzo McKinnie to non-guaranteed multi-year deal," 8 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for minimum

Time Traveler

The first known use of minimum was in 1646

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Statistics for minimum

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Minimum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for minimum


How to pronounce minimum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of minimum

: the lowest number or amount that is possible or allowed


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 minima (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

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