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

Synonyms for nominal

Synonyms: Adjective

formal, paper, titular

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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 battery is rated at 95kWh with a nominal voltage of 396V. That gives the e-tron a WLTP-determined range of 248.5 miles (400km), although Audi is still waiting for the more accurate EPA rating to be determined. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "We’ve driven Audi’s first proper electric car, the 2019 e-tron SUV," 7 Dec. 2018 Indeed, there simply hasn’t been $21 trillion in (nominal) Defense Department spending across the entirety of American history. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The $21 trillion Pentagon accounting error that can’t pay for Medicare-for-all, explained," 3 Dec. 2018 Those permits can generally be obtained at the trail head for free or at a nominal cost. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "9 Things to Know Before You Hike the Pacific Crest Trail," 5 Nov. 2018 The administration succeeded in enacting the most stringent sanctions regime yet imposed on North Korea -- and crucially got more buy in from China for more pressure on its nominal ally North Korea than ever before. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump deserves credit for Korean thaw," 27 Apr. 2018 Though his coworkers tried to cover up the error, the nominal good doctor lived up to his name and reported himself to Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper). Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "6 Things You Definitely Missed from 'The Good Doctor' Premiere," 25 Sep. 2018 Students can download the material free or print copies for a nominal price. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, Washington Post, "Free textbooks? Federal government is on track with a pilot program.," 8 May 2018 Yet the policy rates that central banks control are nominal. The Economist, "Free exchangeCan’t hardly wait," 22 Mar. 2018 But a nominal banning of Russia from the Olympics for operating a systematic doping scheme at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi was more of a semantic prohibition than a complete ban. JerÉ Longman And Victor Mather, New York Times, "Figure Skating: Alina Zagitova Wins Russia’s First Gold Medal," 24 Feb. 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

15 Dec 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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