minimum

noun

min·​i·​mum ˈmi-nə-məm How to pronounce minimum (audio)
plural minima ˈmi-nə-mə How to pronounce minimum (audio) or minimums
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
3
a
: the lowest degree or amount of variation (as of temperature) reached or recorded
b
: the lowest speed allowed on a highway
minimum adjective

Examples of minimum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Not a single amusing moment in sight, just a smug sense of minimum standards being met. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 9 Feb. 2024 What is the absolute minimum necessary for UCLA to squeak into the NCAA Tournament without winning the Pac-12’s automatic bid? — @bruinalytics Short of winning every game through the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament, the Bruins have no chance to make the NCAA at-large field. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 9 Feb. 2024 The Dolphins can retain Smith by offering him a one-year, league minimum contract. Daniel Oyefusi, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 There’s a minimum amount of work a federal government needs to do to keep our country safe and prosperous. Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 Related article Steve Ballmer is set to make $1 billion a year for doing nothing The bill also includes other provisions like a clearer pathway from temporary to permanent work and minimum standards for temporary workers and truck drivers. Reuters, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 Rooms from about $650 a night; two-night minimum required. Laura May Todd, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 The whole system, which has been likened to an anvil for splitting N2, requires at least ten to twenty genes (no one is quite sure of the minimum), though some bacteria use fifty or more. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2024 The liability period is slated to be a minimum of two years before any extensions. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'minimum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of minimum was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near minimum

Cite this Entry

“Minimum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minimum. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

minimum

noun
min·​i·​mum ˈmin-ə-məm How to pronounce minimum (audio)
plural minima -ə-mə How to pronounce minimum (audio) or minimums
1
: the least quantity possible or allowable
2
: the lowest degree or amount reached or recorded
minimum adjective

Medical Definition

minimum

1 of 2 noun
min·​i·​mum ˈmin-ə-məm How to pronounce minimum (audio)
plural minima -ə-mə How to pronounce minimum (audio) or minimums
1
: the least quantity assignable, admissible, or possible
2
: the lowest degree or amount of variation (as of temperature) reached or recorded

minimum

2 of 2 adjective
: of, relating to, or constituting a minimum
meet the minimum psychiatric needs of the countryE. A. Strecker
establishing minimum standards for medical educationCIBA Symposia
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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