Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: op¦ti|mal
Pronunciation: /ˈɒptɪm(ə)l

Definition of optimal in English:


Best or most favourable; optimum: seeking the optimal solution
More example sentences
  • The optimal solution in my eyes is to have smoking banned in public places except for designated smoking areas.
  • What are the optimal temperature and light conditions for the germination of these seeds?
  • Nominating either more or fewer candidates than the optimal number costs a party seats.


late 19th century: from Latin optimus 'best' + -al.



Example sentences
  • Although animals may appear to display optimal behavior, experiments have shown that optimality is rarely achieved.
  • A doctor undoes illness and injuries to restore optimality.
  • In a biotic environment, current reproduction will affect future population sizes, but these future changes may also affect the optimality of current reproductive decisions.


Example sentences
  • They want their wealth of experience to be utilised optimally.
  • We've still got an economy that's not performing optimally, I think it's safe to say.
  • The cortex functions optimally when dopamine activity is neither too low nor too high, corresponding to the top of the curve.

Words that rhyme with optimal


Definition of optimal in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day glen
Pronunciation: ɡlɛn
a narrow valley, especially in Scotland or Ireland