a. Of, resembling, relating to, or consisting of a name or names.
b. Assigned to or bearing a person's name: nominal shares.
a. Existing in name only; not real: “a person with a nominal religious position but no actual duties” (Leo Damrosch).
b. Insignificantly small; trifling: a nominal sum.
3. Philosophy Of or relating to nominalism.
4. Economics Of or relating to an amount or rate that is not adjusted for inflation.
5. Business Of or relating to the par value of a security rather than the market value.
6. Grammar Of or relating to a noun or word group that functions as a noun.
7. Aerospace & Engineering According to plan or design: “The flyby was declared a success after the spacecraft phoned home to Earth at 8:53 p.m. EDT and all systems were nominal” (Emilee Speck).
A word or group of words functioning as a noun.
[Middle English nominalle, of nouns, from Latin nōminālis, of names, from nōmen, nōmin-, name; see n-men- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.