Definition of minimal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnɪm(ə)l/


1Of a minimum amount, quantity, or degree; negligible: the aircraft suffered minimal damage production costs are minimal
More example sentences
  • It's just a shame that they did not see fit to at least include a minimal amount of this information on the disc.
  • While I scanned the place, Ryan asked me some questions which I answered with the minimal amount of information.
  • The worm is spreading modestly and causing only a minimal amount of damage.
very little, minimum, the smallest amount of;
slightest, least, least possible, minutest, tiniest, littlest;
nominal, token, negligible, next to no
2 Art Characterized by the use of simple forms or structures, especially geometric or massive ones.
Example sentences
  • His career did not take off until the early 1960s, when he turned to sculpture and became one of the leading exponents of minimal art.
  • Agnes Martin's austerely minimal grid paintings made a profound impression on him.
  • In the first two rooms of the gallery, Samson Mudzunga presents a minimal show that somehow suits his enigmatic nature.
2.1Characterized by simplicity and lack of adornment or decoration: minimal, simple evening dresses in luxurious fabrics
More example sentences
  • The minimal cover lines, a minimalist Jason Wu frock, minimalist makeup: all a class act.
  • But that artist's work was so minimal that Michelangelo was able to fashion a figure, ultimately, of his creation.
  • Light and exquisitely crafted and delicate jewellery with smooth curves and floral designs in geometric forms made with minimal metal look and set with tiny crystals have been specially designed.
3 Music Characterized by the repetition and gradual alteration of short phrases.
Example sentences
  • Some of the pieces were minimal phrases, and the players would improvise over it many times.
  • And by the sound of it, he wants the music to stay minimal, yet supremely intense and evocative.
  • It is a reminder of how revolutionary their fast, loud and minimal music initially was.
4 Linguistics (Of a pair of forms) distinguished by only one feature: ‘p’ and ‘b’ are a minimal pair, distinguished by the feature of voicing
More example sentences
  • In Jamaican Creole, tone is lexical in a few minimal pairs.
  • a minimal pair in one language or dialect may not be a minimal pair in another one.


Mid 17th century: from Latin minimus 'smallest' + -al.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: min|imal

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