mi·​nus·​cule | \ ˈmi-nə-ˌskyül How to pronounce minuscule (audio) also mi-ˈnə- \

Definition of minuscule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : very small minuscule amounts
2 : written in or in the size or style of minuscules



Definition of minuscule (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a lowercase letter
2a : one of several ancient and medieval writing styles developed from cursive and having simplified and small forms
b : a letter in this style

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Minuscule derives from the Latin adjective minusculus, which means "rather small." The minuscule spelling is consistent with the word's etymology, but since the 19th century, people have also been spelling it miniscule, perhaps because they associate it with the combining form mini- and words such as minimal and minimum. Usage commentators generally consider the miniscule spelling an error, but it is widely used in reputable and carefully edited publications and is accepted as a legitimate variant in some dictionaries.

Examples of minuscule in a Sentence

Adjective public health officials have claimed that the chemical is harmless in such minuscule amounts
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But in the immensity of space, the odds that these or any other physical objects will be found are fantastically minuscule. Chris Impey, The Conversation, 29 Apr. 2022 The transmitter is minuscule, measuring 3.7×3.7×1.6 inches, according to Wi-Charge's website. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 27 Apr. 2022 That number is still minuscule compared with China, which accounts for 95.3%. Megha Mandavia, WSJ, 11 Apr. 2022 The Blazers prefer to grind through small-ball and prove the difference between a blowout and a close encounter with a super-power is minuscule. Evan Dudley, al, 8 Apr. 2022 And although Russia’s overall trade with Africa is minuscule, Moscow is the continent’s biggest arms supplier, in a market where Western manufacturers are constrained by human rights concerns. Monica Mark, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Apr. 2022 The financial yield from auditing the lowest-income Americans is minuscule, especially compared to the gains from going after the biggest tax cheats — the wealthy. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2022 Our numbers are minuscule compared to the women of color out there that are buying these products nine times more than our white counterparts. ELLE, 1 Apr. 2022 There is a minuscule chance that the Bengals can win this game and Joe Burrow not be the MVP, given recent history and the composition of the team. Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2019, Ukraine sent roughly 200,000 tons of steel to the US, minuscule compared to the 26.3 million tons of steel that the US imported in total that year. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 9 May 2022 This finally revealed a Latin inscription written in cursive Carolingian minuscule. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 29 Apr. 2022 Parents who were predisposed not to vaccinate their child tended to dismiss the threat of serious illness from Covid as minuscule, saying that children who became seriously ill most likely had underlying conditions. New York Times, 30 Oct. 2021 Parents who were predisposed not to vaccinate their child tended to dismiss the threat of serious illness from COVID as minuscule, saying that children who became seriously ill most likely had underlying conditions. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Oct. 2021 Those injuries made their margin for error minuscule, and that would be the margin that decided their season. Ben Cohen, WSJ, 21 June 2021 With follower counts ranging from minuscule to massive, choosing the right partnerships can significantly impact a brand. Kelly Ehlers, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Better, but only by the most minuscule of margins. 192. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 13 May 2021 Dambrogio had noticed minuscule, apparently intentional cuts and creases in a number of historical documents and eventually guessed their purpose. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 21 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minuscule.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of minuscule


1703, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minuscule

Noun and Adjective

French, from Latin minusculus rather small, diminutive of minor smaller

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Time Traveler for minuscule

Time Traveler

The first known use of minuscule was in 1701

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Dictionary Entries Near minuscule



minus latium

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Statistics for minuscule

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Minuscule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minuscule. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for minuscule


mi·​nus·​cule | \ ˈmi-nə-ˌskyül How to pronounce minuscule (audio) \

Kids Definition of minuscule

: very small minuscule amounts

More from Merriam-Webster on minuscule

Nglish: Translation of minuscule for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of minuscule for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minuscule


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