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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Follow along with us on Twitter for by-the-minute updates on the latest business and financial news throughout the day. Laura Smythe, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 The dish is a culmination of all the minute details that make something good great. Eric Kim, New York Times, 25 Jan. 2023 When the film finally reached American screens and audiences got to see the full four-minute number, few were disappointed, even if the full production was not so easily replicated. Chris Willman, Variety, 24 Jan. 2023 Coat baguette slices with a hearty glug of olive oil and give them a minute or two under the broiler to brown. Karoline Boehm Goodnick, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Jan. 2023 Hence the cognac and minute amounts of foie gras and truffles that also go into the drink. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2023 After a couple minute delay, Maher made his next field goal from 39 yards. Dallas News, 22 Jan. 2023 Johnson will get back in the starting lineup soon as Williams has him on a minute restriction. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 19 Jan. 2023 Vu has ventricular tachycardia, caused by malfunctioning electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart, which, besides heartbeats of more than 100 a minute, can result in insufficient blood being pumped throughout the body. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 17 Jan. 2023
Adjective
Martin also concluded that the physiological signs, such as heart rate and skin temperature, would be too minute to manipulate, eliminating the possibility that terrorists would outsmart the system. Joseph A Bernstein, Discover Magazine, 22 Jan. 2012 In Moxley’s play—crafted with excruciatingly minute attention to the film, which is still widely available—Liv O’Donoghue takes the role of Gloria. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 28 Nov. 2022 The fractured lower-court rulings and the myriad provisions at question in the ICWA mean that the parties and the justices will likely spend hours poring over minute legislative details. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 9 Nov. 2022 The minute initial investment and scant fee make a small allocation to gold accessible to retail investors. Mitchell Martin, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 Another theory is that minute blood clots, remaining after the viral assault or fueled by the body’s response, continue to have a punishing effect on different parts of the body. Mark Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Sep. 2022 The difference between a great game, a good game, and a bad game can be so minute. WIRED, 6 Oct. 2022 At first glance, Logitech's G705 wireless mouse, announced in late July, seemed too minute to pack real power or accommodate anything but smaller hands. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 18 Aug. 2022 Conk’s recipe was meticulously completed to almost thrillingly minute detail. Joseph Lamour, NBC News, 6 July 2022 See More

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

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 2 Feb. 2023.

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

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

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