Definition of minim in English:

Share this entry


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'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.