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 2b) interval
3a : the lowest degree or amount of variation (as of temperature) reached or recorded
b : the lowest speed allowed on a highway

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from minimum

minimum adjective

Examples of minimum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The minimum bid for the silent auction will be $4,000, said Cade. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Home & Garden Show features She Shed," 4 Sep. 2019 Starting teacher salaries in Chicago-area districts are mostly well above that minimum. Hannah Leone,, "As students return for a new school year, new education-related laws hit the books," 3 Sep. 2019 Before this season, mound visits were reduced to five, and innings breaks in most games to two minutes, with commissioner Rob Manfred set to unilaterally impose a three-batter minimum on relievers in 2020. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB's efforts to speed up play run into reality of modern game: 'It's not going to happen'," 3 Sep. 2019 Manaea faced the minimum through the first four, allowing only an infield single and then getting Gleyber Torres to ground into a double play. Susan Slusser,, "Manaea superb in first start since surgery, but A’s fall to Yankees," 1 Sep. 2019 That’s much less than the average $125-a-month benefit for households with seniors, but more than the $16 minimum that one in five such households get. Laura Ungar & Trudy Lieberman / Kaiser Health News, Time, "Why America Is Failing To Feed Its Aging," 28 Aug. 2019 Many people earning wages at or near the minimum are highly skilled. Matt Darling, Quartz at Work, "Ready to destroy a longstanding argument against raising the minimum wage?," 28 Aug. 2019 During solar minimum, more cosmic rays can reach the strong magnetic field near the sun’s surface and get mirrored, instead of being deflected prematurely by the turbulent tangle of field lines that pervades the inner solar system at other times. Quanta Magazine, "The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined," 27 Aug. 2019 Hirano, who is eligible to return as early as Tuesday, still is not expected to miss much beyond the minimum 10 days, manager Torey Lovullo said. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation falling short without Zack Greinke," 23 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minimum

Statistics for minimum

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minimum

The first known use of minimum was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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