nominal

adjective
nom·​i·​nal | \ ˈnä-mə-nᵊl How to pronounce nominal (audio) , 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 How to pronounce nominal (audio) , 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

Synonyms for nominal

Synonyms: Adjective

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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 The First Mover Advantage in Monopoly is real, but just like in business, its long-term value is nominal. John Greathouse, Forbes, "Raising Startup Children - Play Monopoly Like An Entrepreneur," 3 Mar. 2021 Sachs said even recent Democratic presidents, while showing nominal support for unions, have not put out similar statements to Biden’s. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "What Biden’s support for Alabama Amazon union election means," 1 Mar. 2021 Few outsiders came there to get their hair and nails done for a nominal fee by the Roxbury school’s students who were mastering their craft. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston’s lone vocational school struggles to prepare students for jobs. Can Madison Park salvage its beauty program — and itself?," 27 Feb. 2021 People who wanted to grow fruits and vegetables alongside fellow green thumbs paid a nominal fee for a small plot. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: A community garden hopes its cash crop is a hot sauce called Los Angeles," 26 Feb. 2021 Its defense can be painful to watch, its nominal best player (Keith Williams) seems to have regressed. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: Will Tiger Woods make a comeback like Ben Hogan?," 24 Feb. 2021 Both articles passed with nominal bipartisan support: five Democrats supported each measure, while five Republicans voted against the perjury charge, and twelve opposed the obstruction-of-justice charge. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "Why Impeachment Doesn’t Work," 22 Feb. 2021 Toyota followed last year with a plug-in hybrid version, the RAV4 Prime, that relies on the same principles as the Prius Prime and offers a nominal all-electric range of 42 miles. Dan Neil, WSJ, "The Honda CR-V Goes Hybrid—Watch Out, Toyota," 19 Feb. 2021 For the most part, retail choice means that customers can choose between long-term contracts with providers that guarantee them steadier rates, or those which pass along fluctuating wholesale prices for a nominal fee. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Texas’s Energy Crisis Is America’s Future," 19 Feb. 2021

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 and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for nominal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nominal

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nominal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nominal. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for nominal

nominal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of nominal

formal
: existing as something in name only : not actual or real
: very small in amount

nominal

adjective
nom·​i·​nal | \ ˈnä-mə-nᵊl How to pronounce nominal (audio) \

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 How to pronounce nominal (audio) \

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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Comments on nominal

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