op·ti·mal | \ˈäp-tə-məl \

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 \ noun
optimally \ˈäp-tə-mə-lē \ 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

But there’s no disputing that recently the performance at the plate has not been optimal. Matt Breen, Philly.com, "Nick Pivetta chased early in Phillies' listless loss to Giants," 2 June 2018 Most research indicates that carb rinsing is optimal for intense exercise lasting between 30 minutes and an hour. New York Times, "That Spitting Thing at the World Cup? It’s Probably ‘Carb Rinsing’," 11 July 2018 At the consumer level, though, frozen fish is still seen as less than optimal. Bonnie S. Benwick, charlotteobserver, "What you should know about buying frozen fish," 3 July 2018 Given that the bottom rim snaps off, these are like two pairs in one, with the bottom rim providing structure and style for mountain riding and the rimless iteration being optimal for the road. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "8 New Riding Sunglasses for Summer," 13 June 2018 In some happy universe, this would lead to socially optimal outcomes, too. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "The Perfect Selfishness of Mapping Apps," 15 Mar. 2018 Daily, with optimal picking times of 8 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Where to pick blueberries on Louisiana, Mississippi farms," 14 May 2018 This matchup at the PK80 Invitational in Portland didn’t offer the high stakes of March hoops or an optimal tip-off time on the Feast Week calendar. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "Year-End Awards: The Best and Worst of the 2017–18 College Basketball Season," 10 Apr. 2018 Fruits and vegetables are also in abundance, because the balmy weather also actually helps naturally produce them at their optimal growing time, so select produce is fresher and often cheaper. Spoon U, Teen Vogue, "23 Fruits and Vegetables That Are In-Season During the Spring," 8 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for optimal

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for optimal

The first known use of optimal was in 1890

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More Definitions for optimal



English Language Learners Definition of optimal

: best or most effective


op·ti·mal | \ˈäp-tə-məl \

Medical Definition of optimal 

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

Other Words from optimal

optimality \ˌäp-tə-ˈmal-ət-ē \ noun plural -ties
optimally \-mə-lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on optimal

Spanish Central: Translation of optimal

Nglish: Translation of optimal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of optimal for Arabic Speakers

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