Definition of minimax in English:



  • 1The lowest of a set of maximum values.

    Compare with maximin
    • ‘The methods include the study of stable and unstable manifolds, bifurcations, index and degree, and construction of orbits as minima and minimaxes of action functionals.’
    1. 1.1as modifier (in game theory) denoting a strategy that minimizes the greatest risk to a participant.
      • ‘Michie recalls Turing experimenting with heuristics that later became common in chess programming (in particular minimax and best-first).’
      • ‘This paper introduced the idea of minimax reasoning for lower bounding randomized algorithms, and appeared only in FOCS 83.’
      • ‘There are real problems of deciding whether a given ‘game’ has a global minimax or multiple local minimaxes or a minimax at all!’
    2. 1.2as modifier Denoting the theory that in a game with two players, a player's smallest possible maximum loss is equal to the same player's greatest possible minimum gain.
      • ‘One possible solution is the minimax search algorithm.’
      • ‘In game theory von Neumann proved the minimax theorem.’


1940s: blend of minimum and maximum.