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

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

That Castro and O’Rourke, nominal antagonists, sounded so similar on immigration operated as a criticism of both. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "How Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro Respond to Trump’s War on Immigrants," 7 Aug. 2019 The currency has been nearly stable in both nominal and real (price-adjusted) terms over the past two years. Jeffrey Sachs For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "China isn't the economic manipulator in this trade war. Trump is," 6 Aug. 2019 Tasting fees at these wineries are nominal and picnics are encouraged. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "Wine tasting: 3 great El Dorado County wineries, from Placerville to Somerset," 3 Aug. 2019 Russian control of eastern Siberia had always been nominal at best, and inefficient even when present. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "In the early 20th century, Arctic fox fur was all the rage. The impact in Alaska was immense.," 20 July 2019 The cost for automakers to add safety technology to vehicles would be nominal, said Kane. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "His keyless car killed him while he slept. New legislation could save others," 14 June 2019 Sitting ringside on Saturday was Mayweather, attending in his nominal role as co-promoter of the show. Chris Mannix, SI.com, "12 Rounds: Manny Pacquiao's Next Fight, Mayweather's Retirement and More," 22 July 2019 Then other faculty and researchers serve on their editorial boards and peer-review those articles for free or a nominal fee. Mackenzie Smith, The Conversation, "University of California’s showdown with the biggest academic publisher aims to change scholarly publishing for good," 15 July 2019 Military service was mandatory in West Germany, but conscientious objectors, like Breuer, could avoid enlisting by doing social work or trade work for nominal pay, and Breuer chose to cut hair in his hometown. Washington Post, "He is a stylist to Hollywood stars. But his most personal work is giving cuts to the homeless.," 6 June 2019

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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Statistics for nominal

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

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

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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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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