n. pl. min·i·mums or min·i·ma (-mə)
a. The least possible quantity or degree.
b. The lowest degree or amount reached or recorded; the lower limit of variation.
2. A lower limit permitted by law or other authority.
3. A sum of money set by a nightclub or restaurant as the least amount each patron must spend on food and drink.
a. The smallest number in a finite set of numbers.
b. A value of a function that is less than any other value of the function over a specific interval.
Of, consisting of, or representing the lowest possible amount or degree permissible or attainable.
[Latin, from neuter of minimus, least; see mei-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 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.