Definition of minimum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnɪməm/

noun (plural minima /ˈmɪnɪmə/ or minimums)

[usually in singular]
1The least or smallest amount or quantity possible, attainable, or required: keep costs to a minimum they checked visas with the minimum of fuss
More example sentences
  • The person also must be fully insured and must agree after training to work as a childminder for at least the minimum of two years.
  • Food is kept as fresh and natural as possible with the minimum of intervention in the cooking.
  • The work, however, needs to be done and we are doing everything we can to make sure that it is done as quickly as possible with the minimum of inconvenience.
lowest level, lower limit, bottom level, bottom, base, least, lowest, rock bottom, slightest, depth, nadir
1.1The lowest or smallest amount of a varying quantity (e.g. temperature) allowed, attained, or recorded: clients with a minimum of £500,000 to invest
More example sentences
  • The absolute minimum was recorded during winter in all the species.
  • In addition, the optimum angle setting for a spoiler is zero degrees, which is also the minimum allowed on Pro Stock cars by the NHRA technical department.
  • This is because our minimum feature size of 10 yam is also the minimum allowed by the mask manufacturer, and the variance at this feature size is 3.2 m.


Smallest or lowest: this can be done with the minimum amount of effort
More example sentences
  • Students who meet minimum university entry requirements and are willing to pay would clearly benefit, as would universities.
  • This agreement lays down minimum requirements designed to facilitate the reconciliation of parental and professional responsibilities for working parents.
  • And ING Direct does not offer checking accounts or impose any fees, service charges or minimum requirements on its products.


at a (or the) minimum

At the very least: we zipped along at a minimum of 55 mph
More example sentences
  • He seemed to acknowledge that, at the minimum, at least expand and make permanent those that will expire next year.
  • You might at a minimum find, at least as an American, that we have been sold this idea.
  • So if the new government does not wish to be too different from the old one, it needs to work on accomplishing at least ‘miniscule’ differences, so that at the minimum, a 0.2 percent difference exists between the two.


Mid 17th century: from Latin, neuter of minimus 'least'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: min|imum

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