1. Abbr. M. or min. A unit of fluid measure, as:
a. In the United States, 1/60 of a fluid dram (0.0616 milliliter).
b. In Great Britain, 1/20 of a scruple (0.0592 milliliter).
2. Music A half note.
3. An insignificantly small portion or thing.
4. A downward vertical stroke in handwriting.
[Middle English, half note, from Medieval Latin minimus, least, from Latin; see mei-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.