nominal

adjective
nom·i·nal | \ ˈnä-mə-nᵊl , ˈnäm-nəl \

Definition of nominal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being a noun or a word or expression taking a noun construction

2a : of, relating to, or constituting a name

b : bearing the name of a person

3a : existing or being something in name or form only nominal head of his party

b : of, being, or relating to a designated or theoretical size that may vary from the actual : approximate the pipe's nominal size

c : trifling, insignificant his involvement was nominal charged only nominal rent

4 of a rate of interest

a : equal to the annual rate of simple interest that would obtain if interest were not compounded when in fact it is compounded and paid for periods of less than a year

b : equal to the percentage by which a repaid loan exceeds the principal borrowed with no adjustment made for inflation

5 : being according to plan : satisfactory everything was nominal during the launch

nominal

noun
nom·i·nal | \ ˈnä-mə-nᵊl , ˈnäm-nəl \

Definition of nominal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a word or word group functioning as a noun

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Other words from nominal

Adjective

nominally adverb

Did You Know?

Something nominal exists only in name. So the nominal ruler in a constitutional monarchy is the king or queen, but the real power is in the hands of the elected prime minister. In the United Kingdom, the British monarch is also the nominal head of the Church of England; and those baptized in the Church who aren't really churchgoers might be called nominal Christians. A fee can be called nominal when it's small in comparison to the value of what it buys. So, for example, you might sell a friend a good piece of furniture for a nominal amount. And the charge for a doctor's visit might be a nominal $20, since most of the cost is covered by an insurance plan.

Examples of nominal in a Sentence

Adjective

What gave it resonance was that she was reflecting—in a fun-house mirror—the thuggish behavior of her nominal betters. —Hendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2005 Instead they will decentralize and devolve power, and rely on the people over whom they have nominal authority to be self-organizing. —Francis Fukuyama, Atlantic, May 1999 Approaching his 68th birthday, Rockefeller had never imagined that his twilight years would be so eventful. His fortune had failed to purchase him even a poor man's mite of tranquillity. As nominal president of Standard Oil, he was in a bind, responsible for actions he had not approved. —Ron Chernow, Business Week, 18 May 1998 Each of the ten years of nominal peace saw plenty of bloodshed. —Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West: 1769-1776, (1894) 1995 Her title of vice president had been nominal only. They charge a nominal fee for the service.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And in any case, what matters more than nominal market values is the size of a firm’s profits relative to the economy. The Economist, "History’s biggest firms," 5 July 2018 But if the judge were to deliver a nominal sentence and allowed this monster to enjoy the comfort of his home, that would be giving a really mixed message—a bad message. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Cosby Survivor Lili Bernard: ‘I’m Not Afraid Anymore’," 28 Apr. 2018 If China has cut enough industrial overcapacity and housing inventory in the past 18 months—the main drags on inflation—then nominal growth shouldn’t slow too much. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The U.S.-China Policy Divergence Is—Again—Key to Markets," 27 Apr. 2018 Sources indicate the school made a nominal offer to Listenbee last fall when his lawyer first contacted TCU; think roughly $5,000. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "HBO Real Sports piece on TCU won't be a good look... for the school or Gary Patterson | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 Apr. 2018 Coming on the heels of a testy NATO summit, the sight of the American president nodding along would make his nominal allies squirm. The Economist, "Vladimir Putin’s hopes for his long-awaited meeting with Donald Trump," 14 July 2018 The budget authority for national defense was larger in nominal dollars, which are not adjusted for inflation, in 2010 ($721 billion) and in 2011 ($717 billion). Eugene Kiely, USA TODAY, "Fact check: President Trump’s defense spending exaggerations," 12 July 2018 On top of that, Bernard has proven himself a capable runner, too, meaning Lazor and Marvin Lewis can turn to the nominal backup without hesitation if Mixon falters again. Michael Beller, SI.com, "High-Risk, High-Reward Players for the 2018 Fantasy Football Season," 10 July 2018 Unlike the Rockets and Lakers, the Heat are viewed as a nominal contender. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Heat linked to Carmelo Anthony exodus from Thunder," 6 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of nominal

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nominal

Adjective

Middle English nominalle, from Medieval Latin nominalis, from Latin, of a name, from nomin-, nomen name — more at name

Noun

see nominal entry 1

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Statistics for nominal

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nominal

The first known use of nominal was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for nominal

nominal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of nominal

: existing as something in name only : not actual or real

: very small in amount

nominal

adjective
nom·i·nal | \ ˈnä-mə-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of nominal

1 : existing as something in name only He was the nominal head of the government.

2 : very small There's just a nominal fee.

Other words from nominal

nominally adverb

nominal

adjective
nom·i·nal | \ ˈnä-mən-ᵊl \

Legal Definition of nominal 

1 : existing or being something in name or form but usually not in reality defenses…raised by the corporation as nominal defendant in a derivative suit —R. C. Clark

2 : being so small or trivial as to be a mere token charging a nominal fee

3 of a rate of interest

a : equal to the annual rate of simple interest that would obtain if interest were not compounded when in fact it is compounded and paid for periods of less than a year

b : equal to the percentage by which a repaid loan exceeds the principal borrowed with no adjustment made for inflation — compare effective sense 4

Other words from nominal

nominally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on nominal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nominal

Spanish Central: Translation of nominal

Nglish: Translation of nominal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nominal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nominal

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