optimum

noun
op·​ti·​mum | \ ˈäp-tə-məm How to pronounce optimum (audio) \
plural optima\ ˈäp-​tə-​mə How to pronounce optimum (audio) \ also optimums

Definition of optimum

1 : the amount or degree of something that is most favorable to some end The substances were mixed in various proportions until an optimum was reached. especially : the most favorable condition for the growth and reproduction of an organism The soil condition for this crop is now at an optimum.
2 : greatest degree attained or attainable under implied or specified conditions This agricultural pest reaches its optimum farther south.

Other Words from optimum

optimum adjective

Examples of optimum in a Sentence

The substances were mixed in various proportions until an optimum was reached.
Recent Examples on the Web Buxton showed the optimum of his skills when he was named the American League's Player of the Month this past April. Star Tribune, 8 June 2021 As far as emphasis, every single week, every single day optimum, nothing but our best. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 2 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'optimum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of optimum

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for optimum

borrowed from Latin, from neuter of optimus (earlier optumus) "best," probably originally "foremost, headmost," from ob "toward, in front of" + -tumus, -timus, superlative suffix (going back to Indo-European *-tm̥mos) — more at ob-

Note: Traditionally the initial element op- has been taken as the stem of op-, *ops "power, ability, wealth" (see opus), though superlative derivatives with -(t)imus are regularly formed from spatial prepositions (as extimus, intimus, postumus), not nouns. The inscriptional forms opitimus, opitumus probably contain an epenthetic vowel and hence would not be of etymological relevance.

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Time Traveler for optimum

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The first known use of optimum was in 1848

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Cite this Entry

“Optimum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optimum. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for optimum

optimum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of optimum

: the amount or degree of something that is best or most effective

optimum

adjective
op·​ti·​mum | \ ˈäp-tə-məm How to pronounce optimum (audio) \

Kids Definition of optimum

: most desirable or satisfactory The shuttle is launched only under optimum conditions.

optimum

noun
op·​ti·​mum | \ ˈäp-tə-məm How to pronounce optimum (audio) \
plural optima\ -​mə How to pronounce optimum (audio) \ also optimums

Medical Definition of optimum

1 : the amount or degree of something that is most favorable to some end especially : the most favorable condition for the growth and reproduction of an organism
2 : greatest degree attained or attainable under implied or specified conditions

Other Words from optimum

optimum adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on optimum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for optimum

Nglish: Translation of optimum for Spanish Speakers

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