mi·​nus·​cule | \ ˈmi-nə-ˌskyül How to pronounce minuscule (audio) also mi-ˈnə- \

Definition of minuscule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : very small minuscule amounts
2 : written in or in the size or style of minuscules



Definition of minuscule (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a lowercase letter
2a : one of several ancient and medieval writing styles developed from cursive and having simplified and small forms
b : a letter in this style

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Minuscule derives from the Latin adjective minusculus, which means "rather small." The "minuscule" spelling is consistent with the word's etymology, but since the 19th century, people have also been spelling it "miniscule," perhaps because they associate it with the combining form mini- and words such as minimal and minimum. Usage commentators generally consider the "miniscule" spelling an error, but it is widely used in reputable and carefully edited publications and is accepted as a legitimate variant in some dictionaries.

Examples of minuscule in a Sentence

Adjective public health officials have claimed that the chemical is harmless in such minuscule amounts
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That may be minuscule compared to other institutional shareholders, but the tiny fund already has proven its capacity to have an outsized influence working from the inside. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 4 Oct. 2021 That amount is minuscule compared with the $300 billion that VCs invested last year globally, according to accounting firm KPMG. Kevin T. Dugan, Fortune, 30 Sep. 2021 Though the 45,199 Latinos who live in Montana are minuscule compared to the 15.6 million Hispanics who live in California, the state’s 58.2 percent jump in Latino residents since 2010 leads all U.S. western states over the last decade. NBC news, 15 Sep. 2021 Our family stories were but a minuscule part of a centuries-old collective body of knowledge built of struggle, punctuated by loss, and kept alive by love. Tracy K. Smith, Vogue, 25 May 2021 And the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 after vaccination is a minuscule 5 in 100,000. Keith Murphy, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2021 Microplastics—minuscule, hard-to-degrade fragments of clothing fibers, water bottles and other synthetic items—have made their way into air, water and soil around the world. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2021 Supreme Court nominees must be confirmed by the Senate, where Democrats fear losing their minuscule 50-50 majority in midterm elections next year. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 29 June 2021 It’s a satisfying act for me, a minuscule-but-habitual performance of duty to the republic for which the flag stands. Philip Wallach, National Review, 14 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those injuries made their margin for error minuscule, and that would be the margin that decided their season. Ben Cohen, WSJ, 21 June 2021 With follower counts ranging from minuscule to massive, choosing the right partnerships can significantly impact a brand. Kelly Ehlers, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Better, but only by the most minuscule of margins. 192. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 13 May 2021 Dambrogio had noticed minuscule, apparently intentional cuts and creases in a number of historical documents and eventually guessed their purpose. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 21 Apr. 2021 Still, the dishwasher industry is pretty small in India, estimated at under Rs200 crore ($30 million), minuscule compared to air conditioners (Rs20,000 crore), refrigerators (Rs21,000 crore), or washing machines (Rs8,000 crore). Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, 4 Oct. 2020 Remember when one minuscule-yet-precise X-Wing blew up a space station that could destroy planets? Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 18 Dec. 2017 April 17, 2018 —Pope Francis, the current supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church, wields two different kinds of authority, one vast and one minuscule. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Apr. 2018 Remember when one minuscule-yet-precise X-Wing blew up a space station that could destroy planets? Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 18 Dec. 2017

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


1703, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minuscule

Noun and Adjective

French, from Latin minusculus rather small, diminutive of minor smaller

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Time Traveler for minuscule

Time Traveler

The first known use of minuscule was in 1701

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Dictionary Entries Near minuscule



minus latium

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Minuscule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minuscule. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for minuscule



English Language Learners Definition of minuscule

: very small


mi·​nus·​cule | \ ˈmi-nə-ˌskyül How to pronounce minuscule (audio) \

Kids Definition of minuscule

: very small minuscule amounts

More from Merriam-Webster on minuscule

Nglish: Translation of minuscule for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of minuscule for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minuscule


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