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nominal Line breaks: nom|in¦al
Pronunciation: /ˈnɒmɪn(ə)l/

Definition of nominal in English:


1(Of a role or status) existing in name only: Thailand retained nominal independence under Japanese military occupation
More example sentences
  • The government plays a nominal role in dictating policy because it cannot monitor local fisheries or enforce fisheries regulations.
  • There are then individuals for whom religion plays only a nominal role in constructing a sense of self and of group membership.
  • It controlled Cuba even after its nominal independence from 1902, and gained sovereignty over the Panama Canal in 1903.
in name/title only, titular, formal, official, ceremonial;
theoretical, purported, supposed, ostensible;
self-styled, so-called, would-be
1.1Relating to or consisting of names: the streets have names like Third Avenue, but the resemblance to Manhattan is only nominal a nominal roll of the Grenadier Company shows a total of 86 men
More example sentences
  • First, check that your name is on the nominal roll.
  • This was made possible by the Department of Veteran's decision to construct a nominal roll of all who served in the Australian Forces during World War Two.
  • A nominal roll of all participants will be included.
2(Of a price or charge) very small; far below the real value or cost: they charge a nominal fee for the service
More example sentences
  • While the charges are nominal at government health establishments, often the cost of the medicine they prescribe is steep, especially for the poor.
  • Office space will be rented out at nominal prices to IT firms.
  • If a nominal charge was introduced to defray the cost, I don't think too many people would complain.
token, symbolic, emblematic, peppercorn;
tiny, minute, minimal, small, infinitesimal, insignificant, trifling, not worth mentioning, not worth bothering about
informal minuscule, piddling, piffling
North American informal nickel-and-dime
rare exiguous
3(Of a quantity or dimension) stated or expressed but not necessarily corresponding exactly to the real value: EU legislation allowed variation around the nominal weight (that printed on each packet)
More example sentences
  • All of these are nominal dimensions and we have to remember that there are always some tolerance spreads in brass.
  • Using the Friction Loss Chart as described above, the minimum nominal size of the main line is 3/4 inch.
  • We agree that the road runs straight as it passes through the scene and has a nominal width of around 6 metres.
3.1 Economics Expressed in terms of current prices or figures, without making allowance for changes over time: the nominal exchange rate
More example sentences
  • In spite of the existing low nominal interest rates, the real interest rates in the economy are still high, and also the credit off-take is low.
  • This is borne out by several studies that concur in stating real and nominal rates ‘are leading indicators of future output.’
  • During the transition, inflation would lower real rates; nominal rates would adjust incompletely.
4 Grammar Relating to or functioning as a noun: a nominal group
More example sentences
  • One tends to think of participants in a process as nominal entities designated by noun phrases.
  • Similar are sentences in which a pronoun or noun phrase with general reference is used instead of the nominal relative clause.
  • It is however a noun and ‘after’ clauses are nominal.
5 informal (Chiefly in the context of space travel) functioning normally or acceptably.
Example sentences
  • Spacecraft operations engineers take control of the satellite after it separates from the launch vehicle up to the time when the satellite is safely positioned in its final nominal orbit.
  • Since injection into orbit the spacecraft's behaviour has been nominal.
  • They are supplying ‘mission control’ with a steady stream of valuable data and all systems are nominal.


Late 15th century (as a term in grammar): from Latin nominalis, from nomen, nomin- 'name'.



Pronunciation: /ˈnɒmɪn(ə)li/
[sentence adverb]: he refused, nominally on health grounds
More example sentences
  • The book is nominally about a circus that comes to a small, anonymous, Hungarian town.
  • When he was picked, Idei was nominally fifteenth in line among Sony executives for the top spot.
  • The churches, even those nominally run by male clergy, have long since been turned over to women.

Words that rhyme with nominal

abdominal, phenomenal, pronominal

Definition of nominal in:

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