minute

1 of 3

noun

min·​ute ˈmi-nət How to pronounce minute (audio)
1
a
: the 60th part of an hour of time : 60 seconds
b
: the 60th part of a degree of angular measure
Its latitude is 41 degrees 55 minute north.
2
: the distance one can traverse in a minute
Five minutes down the road is a gas station.
3
: a short space of time : moment
Dinner will be ready in just a few minutes.
4
a
: a brief note (as of summary or recommendation)
He received a minute of instructions.
b
: memorandum, draft
sent the president a minute explaining the problem
c
minutes plural : the official record of the proceedings of a meeting
The secretary read the minutes of the previous meeting.

minute

2 of 3

adjective

mi·​nute mī-ˈnüt How to pronounce minute (audio)
mə-,
-ˈnyüt
minuter; minutest
1
: very small : infinitesimal
2
: of small importance : trifling
3
: marked by close attention to details
minuteness noun

minute

3 of 3

verb

min·​ute ˈmi-nət How to pronounce minute (audio)
minuted; minuting

transitive verb

: to make notes or a brief summary of
Choose the Right Synonym for minute

small, little, diminutive, minute, tiny, miniature mean noticeably below average in size.

small and little are often interchangeable, but small applies more to relative size determined by capacity, value, number.

a relatively small backyard

little is more absolute in implication often carrying the idea of petiteness, pettiness, insignificance, or immaturity.

your pathetic little smile

diminutive implies abnormal smallness.

diminutive bonsai plants

minute implies extreme smallness.

a minute amount of caffeine in the soda

tiny is an informal equivalent to minute.

tiny cracks formed in the painting

miniature applies to an exactly proportioned reproduction on a very small scale.

a dollhouse with miniature furnishings

circumstantial, minute, particular, detailed mean dealing with a matter fully and usually point by point.

circumstantial implies fullness of detail that fixes something described in time and space.

a circumstantial account of our visit

minute implies close and searching attention to the smallest details.

a minute examination of a fossil

particular implies a precise attention to every detail.

a particular description of the scene of the crime

detailed stresses abundance or completeness of detail.

a detailed analysis of the event

Examples of minute in a Sentence

Noun Bake the cake for 25–30 minutes. We waited for several minutes, but no one came to the door. I saw him a minute ago. Dinner will be ready in just a few minutes. One minute it was sunny, the next it was pouring rain. My house is just a few minutes from here. The secretary read the minutes of the last meeting. Adjective There were minute particles of dust in the air. The test detected minute amounts of contamination. The equipment is able to detect the minutest errors. She told him what happened in minute detail. a minute examination of the evidence
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The solar eclipse will last 3 minutes, 49.4 seconds in Indianapolis, according to eclipse2024.org. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Apr. 2024 Totality starts at 1:59 p.m. and lasts for nearly three minutes. Katie Wiseman, The Courier-Journal, 8 Apr. 2024 Book lovers will want to detour into Eureka, 40 minutes to the north, where charming Second Street is home to two impressive bookstores. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 8 Apr. 2024 Lyles made all five of his shots in the first half as the Kings outscored the Nets by 28 points in Lyles’ 15 first-half minutes. Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee, 8 Apr. 2024 For a few precious minutes, if the clouds don’t interfere, eclipse watchers will experience the surreality of being held by the shadow of the moon. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 8 Apr. 2024 But the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent for every minute that passes without any CPR at all. Helen Ouyang, New York Times, 27 Mar. 2024 For the first 25 minutes, the Arizona Senate's floor session on March 18th was unremarkable. Wayne Schutsky, NPR, 27 Mar. 2024 Mix the ingredients into a paste, then apply a layer onto the grout and let sit for at least five to 10 minutes before scrubbing. Kalina Newman, Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2024
Adjective
The finding is evidence that seemingly minute changes to an animal’s physiology can translate the same command from the nervous system into different ways of moving. Quanta Magazine, 11 Mar. 2024 In his apartment, Paules has a minute fraction of that total, but more than enough to sustain his hobby. Joe Heim, Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2024 Crowder began practicing in five-on-five settings last week and returns to action in Cleveland, albeit with a minute restriction. Jim Owczarski, Journal Sentinel, 17 Jan. 2024 Its sensitivity allowed astrophysicists to detect minute changes in starlight linked to stellar oscillations, which affect both the radius and the brightness of the star. WIRED, 26 Nov. 2023 Effects such as these would be minute, but intergalactic distances could magnify them to detectable levels. Thomas Lewton, Quanta Magazine, 29 June 2023 Suddenly, even minute changes in earthquakes, gas emissions or deformation need to be watched closely because the margins are much narrower with all the people to potentially evacuate if an eruption is in the cards. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 8 Oct. 2023 In health care, their research is being applied to improve diagnostics, with the potential to create tests that can detect minute changes in the level of molecules in the blood. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 3 Oct. 2023 The estimates vary, but all told, only a minute percentage of victims ever see their money again. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'minute.' 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

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Middle French, from Late Latin minuta, from Latin minutus small, from past participle of minuere to lessen — more at minor

Adjective

Latin minutus

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of minute was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near minute

Cite this Entry

“Minute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minute. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

minute

1 of 2 noun
min·​ute ˈmin-ət How to pronounce minute (audio)
1
a
: the 60th part of an hour of time
b
: the 60th part of a degree of angular measure
2
: the distance one can cover in a minute
3
4
plural : a brief record of what went on in a meeting

minute

2 of 2 adjective
mi·​nute
mī-ˈn(y)üt,
mə-
1
: very small : tiny
2
: of small importance : petty
3
: marked by close attention to details
minutely adverb
minuteness noun
Etymology

Noun

Middle English minute "1/60 part of an hour," from early French minute (same meaning), from Latin minuta (same meaning), from minutus "small" — related to menu see Word History at menu

Medical Definition

minute

noun
min·​ute ˈmin-ət How to pronounce minute (audio)
: a 60th part of an hour of time or of a degree

Legal Definition

minute

noun
min·​ute ˈmi-nət How to pronounce minute (audio)
1
: a brief note (as of summary or recommendation)
2
3
plural : the official record of the proceedings of a meeting or court

More from Merriam-Webster on minute

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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