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

The club's annual dues are $14,000, and there's an annual food minimum of $2,000. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "A Mar-a-Lago Member, Handbag Designer Lana Marks, Is Donald Trump's Pick for Ambassador to South Africa," 16 Nov. 2018 The current recommendation is that sites switch to TLS 1.2 (which happens to be the minimum required for HTTP 2.0) and offer only a limited, modern set of encryption algorithms and authentication schemes. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla come together to end TLS 1.0," 16 Oct. 2018 Admission prices vary and there is a two-drink minimum. Samantha Nelson, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago bachelor and bachelorette party ideas you can book at the last minute," 27 June 2018 Buses are each a minimum of $300,000 to make; trains cost at least $2.7 million per car. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "The Boring Company’s Chicago project seems awfully cheap for something so big," 14 June 2018 The city receives only 1 percent of the current rate, which is the minimum for San Diego County cities, with the rest going to the state and the voter-approved, half-cent TransNet tax the county collects for public transportation improvements. Phil Diehl,, "Oceanside puts sales tax hike on November ballot," 7 June 2018 But Meghan Jones’ set provides the requisite multiple doors (five is bare minimum), and the costumes by Alison Roberts are parodically comical, especially the silk pajamas in which the guys spend Act 2. Toby Zinman,, "'Don't Dress for Dinner' at the Lantern Theater: Tasty, summery sex romp," 31 May 2018 But there is a minimum to make up for those short runs, and more if the run is very long or from an area where the call volume is high at any one time. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An Uber in Greendale? This driver's been giving rides for 127 days and counting," 15 May 2018 If Newcastle had that sort of money, their target would be top six minimum!, "Why Newcastle Should Be Challenging for European Football Next Season Under Benitez," 9 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

20 Apr 2019

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 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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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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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