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 Leaving aside the fact that the U.S. income-tax system is already sharply progressive, as well as the unequal treatment of capital losses and gains under current rules, this also ignores the way that the tax is levied on nominal capital gains. The Editors, National Review, "Biden’s Vindictive Capital-Gains Tax Hike," 28 Apr. 2021 That may seem nominal, but a good action movie should be as engaging (think the delicious computer hacking face-off between Harrison Ford and Henry Czerny in Clear and Present Danger) as the action beats. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "‘Without Remorse’ Review: Michael B. Jordan Can’t Save Generic Action Throwback," 28 Apr. 2021 Sure, on average and given enough time, nominal wages might rise to match the nominal price level. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "The Permanent Truth About Temporary Inflation," 22 Apr. 2021 There is a nominal story here, but it’s all just a cardboard setup used as an excuse to justify fight scenes. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Welcome to 'Mortal Kombat.' It's violent, stupid and there's more where that came from," 22 Apr. 2021 This makes the nominal satire of the Amazon shows feels oddly tame. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Whatever Happened to the Men of Tomorrow?," 12 Apr. 2021 The Avantguard mask is made of an electrostatic antiviral material that traps particles even at a lower nominal filtration rates, while offering breathability that allows the mask to be worn comfortably and safely for hours on end. Rachel King, Fortune, "Comfortable work-from-home clothes you can still wear when you’re back in the office," 10 Apr. 2021 For private banking accounts, financial institutions must take reasonable steps to identify the nominal and beneficial owners of such accounts. The Insider, Forbes, "New Legislation May Portend Wave Of Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement," 19 Apr. 2021 The sponsor — the group that creates the entity — takes a fifth of the resulting business for a nominal price. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "IPOs are hot in Silicon Valley. SPACs are even hotter," 24 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Investors’ expectations for inflation—as defined by the consumer-price index—over the next 10 years can be gleaned from the difference between nominal and inflation-protected U.S. Treasury yields. Peter Santilli, WSJ, "What Wall Street Is Telling Us About the U.S. Economic Outlook," 26 Apr. 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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nominal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nominal. Accessed 11 May. 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

Comments on nominal

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