Word of the Day : April 21, 2014


noun muh-NOO-shee-uh


: a minute or minor detail

Did You Know?

"Minutia" was borrowed into English in the late 18th century from the Latin plural noun "minutiae," meaning "trifles" or "details" and derived from the singular noun "minutia," meaning "smallness." In English, "minutia" is most often used in the plural as either "minutiae" or, on occasion, as simply "minutia" (as illustrated in our second example sentence). Latin "minutia," incidentally, comes from "minutus," an adjective meaning "small" that was created from the verb "minuere," meaning "to lessen." A familiar descendant of "minutus" is "minute."


The self-help book said it was easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of everyday life and fail to notice important opportunities.

"Jackson, though, is smart enough to hire people to figure out salary caps and contract minutia." - From a column by Tim Dahlberg via the Associated Press, March 18, 2014

Word Family Quiz

What relative of "minutia" can mean "to cut or chop into very small pieces"? The answer is …


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!