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minuscule

Line breaks: min¦us|cule
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnəskjuːl
 
/
(also miniscule)

Definition of minuscule in English:

adjective

1Extremely small; tiny: a minuscule fragment of DNA
More example sentences
  • Water striders are covered stem to stem and toe to toe with a layer of tiny, waxy, feathery hairs in which countless minuscule air bubbles are trapped.
  • Some snakes, such as pythons, retain tiny leg bones, which may be visible as minuscule claws at the base of the tail.
  • Upon entering, however, there was a man on a minuscule stage, reading from a tiny index card.
Synonyms
tiny, minute, microscopic, nanoscopic, very small, little, micro, diminutive, miniature, baby, toy, midget, dwarf, pygmy, Lilliputian, infinitesimal;
Scottish wee
British informal titchy
North American informal little-bitty
1.1 informal So small as to be insignificant: he believed the risk of infection was minuscule
More example sentences
  • My heart rose, in the slight minuscule chance that it was a dream.
  • I know there are some issues and problems, but they are minor and minuscule compared with a number of police forces around the world.
  • We have gratuitously destroyed so much of nature that the Taliban's smashing up of Buddhist statues, as comparative vandalism, will someday seem quite minuscule.
2Of or in lower-case letters, as distinct from capitals or uncials.
Example sentences
  • The small (minuscule) letters are earth symbols- the (majuscule) capital letter A is a picture of the missing capstone from Khufu's pyramid.
  • Here for the first time it became common to mix both majuscule and minuscule letters in a single text.
2.1Of or in a small cursive script of the Roman alphabet, with ascenders and descenders, developed in the 7th century ad.
Example sentences
  • Speed of writing changed the appearance of many letters, however, and along with the introduction by the 4th century of loops and linking of letters this formed the basis for the development of minuscule scripts.
  • Most of the works of the ancient Greek mathematicians which have survived do so because of this copying process and it is the ‘latest’ version written in minuscule script which has survived.
  • Irish writings prior to the use of paper and print were written on vellum in a distinctive minuscule script which reflects 1,000 years of literary tradition.

noun

[mass noun] Back to top  
1Minuscule script: the humanistic hands of the 15th century were based on the Carolingian minuscule
More example sentences
  • Not one of them is written in the type of small, utilitarian script, called current minuscule, which was the common form of handwriting used in liturgical handbooks and schoolbooks in the seventh and eighth centuries.
  • From the late 8th century onwards a new script, Caroline minuscule, swept throughout Europe along with the Carolingian Empire.
  • The development of Carolingian minuscule had, although somewhat indirectly, a large impact on the history of mathematics.
1.1 [count noun] A small or lower-case letter.
Example sentences
  • The written and printed form of English has two interlocking systems of letters: large letters, known variously as capitals, upper-case letters, majuscules, and small letters, or lower-case letters, minuscules.
  • Working on maps and charts provided testing requirements, both for large and decorative majuscules in the titles, and for tiny minuscules for the names of towns, of which there could be as many as 500 in one county.

Origin

early 18th century: from French, from Latin minuscula (littera) 'somewhat smaller (letter)'.

Usage

The standard spelling is minuscule rather than miniscule. The latter form is a very common one (accounting for almost half of citations for the term in the Oxford English Corpus), and has been recorded since the late 19th century. It arose by analogy with other words beginning with mini-, where the meaning is similarlyvery small’. It is now so widely used that it can be considered as an acceptable variant, although it should be avoided in formal contexts.

Derivatives

minuscular

1
Pronunciation: /mɪˈnʌskjʊlə/
adjective
Example sentences
  • Yet, in between the constant switches from inner to outer, there are minuscular pauses.
  • Hence you will receive a signal coming from inside the material as well, but it is minuscular.
  • Are Nigerians and the character of Nigerian politics really different from their minuscular counterpart at the University of Nigeria?

Words that rhyme with minuscule

fasciculegraticule

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