transitive verb

: to make less (as in size, amount, or degree) : make fewer in number : diminish in power or influence : lessen
have minished their numbersSir Walter Scott
would not … minish by a tittle the respect due to the MagistrateJ. R. Lowell
without … muddling it up with myths which simply minish its interestGeorge Saintsbury

Word History


Middle English menusen, minishen, from Middle French menusier, menuiser to lessen, mince, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin minutiare to mince, from Latin minutia smallness, minuteness, from minutus minute + -ia -y

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near minish

Cite this Entry

“Minish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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