Definition of minim in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnɪm/


1 Music , British A note having the time value of two crotchets or half a semibreve, represented by a ring with a stem. Also called half note.
Example sentences
  • More startling, his manic-depressive nature is expressed by sudden changes of tempo, juxtaposing passages in semiquavers with slow-moving minims and semibreves.
  • Some simply take the themes in order to construct fantasy variations; others write in semibreves and minims to make the motifs for chorale preludes.
  • Nor does he discuss another dialectic, between the Scherzo's anapestic and amphibrach crotchet groups, sublated after the Trio in that startling alla breve succession of equal minims; nor the hunting topos of the Trio.
2A small bronze or silver ancient Roman coin.
Example sentences
  • In fact it's a silver minim, measuring just 7-8mm in diameter.
  • The next major change was the advent of lower-value coins in the form of silver minims, struck or cast bronze, or cast potin (bronze with up to 25 per cent tin).
3One sixtieth of a fluid drachm, about one drop of liquid.
Example sentences
  • The minim should not be confused with the drop, as they are not equivalent.
  • There is only one apothecary measure for weight, the grain; and three for volume (liquids), the minim, dram and ounce.
4(In calligraphy) a short vertical stroke, as in the letters i, m, n, u.
Example sentences
  • An example of this in Beowulf are the letters 'bet' in line 6 on folio 198v followed by two minims joined at bottom with a stroke through the second minim.
  • When he had a vertical stroke that began above the minim or, as in Uncial R, went below the minim, he (A) began with the nib at about 30 degrees.


Late Middle English: from Latin minima, from minimus 'smallest'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: minim

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