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 optimality (audio) \ noun
optimally \ ˈäp-​tə-​mə-​lē How to pronounce optimally (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

While the use of synthetic cadavers in simulation teaching laboratories is popular in medical education, human cadavers are the optimal way to teach anatomy, Smith stressed. Stephanie Innes, AZCentral.com, "Arizona is a hotbed for the cadaver industry, and potential donors have plenty of options," 10 June 2019 The optimal solutions for different factors don’t always agree with one another: The fastest way to load a truck may not be the most efficient use of its space. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "How Robots and Drones Will Change Retail Forever," 15 Oct. 2018 Even though the optimal solution is EV owners plugging in each night, the thought of being stranded with a slow-charging EV but hundreds of miles to drive in a day causes enough terror to rule out such cars for many potential drivers. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Electrify America will deploy 2,000 350kW fast chargers by the end of 2019," 20 Apr. 2018 But more recent research suggests that the optimal income for lifetime fulfillment is higher, at $85,000 to $95,000. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "The $10,000 Salary Jump That Will Actually Make a Difference in Your Life," 9 Apr. 2019 All of this requires an understanding of each step of the process and how to adjust accordingly if one factor isn’t optimal. Annemarie Conte, Woman's Day, "What We Learned After Baking Nothing But Bread for 3 Days," 9 Apr. 2019 The suggestions come from 23andme, one of the companies offering to point you toward the optimal eating and exercise habits for your genetics. Candice Choi, The Seattle Times, "What my DNA told me: Avoid fast food, eat vegetables," 27 Mar. 2019 While Nvidia coaxed ray tracing into working on non-RTX GPUs with this driver, the experience won’t be optimal. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "RTX on GTX: Nvidia's latest driver unlocks ray tracing on GeForce GTX graphics cards," 11 Apr. 2019 Devising the kind of snacking strategy that can keep them at bay is important for optimal performance. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "The Best Homemade Snacks According to the Pros," 11 May 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

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for optimal

The first known use of optimal was in 1890

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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 optimality (audio) \ noun, plural optimalities
optimally \ -​mə-​lē How to pronounce optimally (audio) \ 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

Comments on optimal

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showing courage and determination

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