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

Horford is a nominal center joining a team that already has the best center in the league. The Si Staff, SI.com, "Debating the Best and Worst Deals of NBA Free Agency," 5 July 2019 The speakers' nominal power is 33 watts, and peak power is 100 watts. Dallas News, "Gadget roundup: Speakers that can live outdoors and more," 4 July 2019 One of the most versatile and dynamic backs in the NFL, Johnson was used more as a between-the-guards power back and nominal receiver, completely negating his rare outside speed and comprehensive route-running abilities. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "NFL's best running backs: Arizona Cardinals' David Johnson ranked No. 25," 19 June 2019 Fortified by the power of the incumbency and support among key Democratic constituencies, Brown faced nominal opposition. Hillary Borrud, OregonLive.com, "Kate Brown wins Oregon Democratic gubernatorial primary," 15 May 2018 Then, the Democratic nomination was uncontested, and incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal faced nominal opposition in the Republican primary. Alan Judd, ajc, "Apathy leads the field in advance voting for Georgia primary," 12 May 2018 For months, Democrats struggled to find a serious candidate to challenge Diaz-Balart, who won reelection by 24 percentage points in 2016 against nominal opposition. Alex Daugherty, miamiherald, "Democrat Mary Barzee Flores switches races to challenge Republican Mario Diaz-Balart | Miami Herald," 3 May 2018 And the latest nominal momentary leader of the resistance is James B. Comey who, like Daniels, may have an ulterior motive or two here. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "James Comey, Stormy Daniels and the flawed vessels commandeering the Trump resistance," 19 Apr. 2018 Here are eight tips to help keep your travel expenses nominal and your wallet fat. New York Times, "Ways to Save in 2018," 5 Jan. 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 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

14 Jul 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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