op·​ti·​mal | \ ˈäp-tə-məl How to pronounce optimal (audio) \

Definition of optimal

: most desirable or satisfactory : optimum the optimal use of class time the optimal dosage of medication for a patient conditions for optimal development

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Other Words from optimal

optimality \ ˌäp-​tə-​ˈma-​lə-​tē How to pronounce optimal (audio) \ noun
optimally \ ˈäp-​tə-​mə-​lē How to pronounce optimal (audio) \ adverb

Examples of optimal in a Sentence

He keeps his engine tuned for optimal performance. Under optimal conditions, these plants grow quite tall.
Recent Examples on the Web Part of that slower manufacturing was due to initial challenges in getting sufficient raw materials needed for the vaccine, and a less-than-optimal production process. Alice Park, Time, "FDA: Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Doesn’t Need Ultra-Cold Freezer Storage," 26 Feb. 2021 Though virtual learning isn't optimal for all students, a growing number want to do some or all of their classes remotely. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "There's a growing appetite for post-COVID online learning," 7 Feb. 2021 Deshaun Watson appears like their optimal QB cure-all ... Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Eight teams the Detroit Lions should call as they try to trade QB Matthew Stafford," 25 Jan. 2021 Kendall-Taylor says while the way children are engaging with screens now isn't optimal, children are incredibly adaptive. USA Today, "The pandemic hurt our kids. How much?," 22 Dec. 2020 Some models of dash cam are capable of capturing video at resolutions of up to 4K, which is optimal for working drivers in any situation where insurance and liability are key considerations. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Best dash cams: Car accessories to keep you safe on the road," 11 Dec. 2020 But the reality of employees being separated from one another and customers unable to get the same full experience at stores is not always optimal in her eyes. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "In-person work and store experiences are still often better options, according to Apple HR and retail chief," 2 Dec. 2020 Not optimal, but better than waiting until Valentine's Day. Star Tribune, "Lileks: Keeping tabs on the new rules for license plates," 27 Nov. 2020 Theoretically, yes, but is that optimal for either player, or the Mavericks? Dallas News, "The 5 biggest issues Mavs face going into training camp, including a pair of Kristaps Porzingis questions," 27 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'optimal.' 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 optimal

1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for optimal

optim(um) + -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for optimal

Time Traveler

The first known use of optimal was in 1890

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Statistics for optimal

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Optimal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optimal. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for optimal



English Language Learners Definition of optimal

formal : best or most effective


op·​ti·​mal | \ ˈäp-tə-məl How to pronounce optimal (audio) \

Medical Definition of optimal

: most desirable or satisfactory : optimum optimal concentrations of a drug

Other Words from optimal

optimality \ ˌäp-​tə-​ˈmal-​ət-​ē How to pronounce optimal (audio) \ noun, plural optimalities
optimally \ -​mə-​lē How to pronounce optimal (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on optimal

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