Definition of optimum in English:



  • Most conducive to a favourable outcome; best:

    ‘the optimum childbearing age’
    • ‘Visit the bookshop or fill out a questionnaire to see what supplements you need to keep yourself in optimum condition.’
    • ‘Physically he looks really well - his coat is black and glossy and he's probably about optimum weight.’
    • ‘There is a body of evidence that only custom fitted suits give optimum performance.’
    • ‘Attention should be placed on the correct type of computer furniture and also optimum lighting.’
    • ‘It avoids wasting lime and fertiliser, which in turn leads to optimum yields.’
    • ‘It's going to take at least six to eight months under optimum conditions to grow another stem cell.’
    • ‘He admits he was not in optimum shape last season, and his performances suffered as a result.’
    • ‘All his businesses are run to deliver optimum value and performance to shareholder and customers.’
    • ‘A customer can be confident that the bottle taken from the retailer's shelf will be at optimum maturity.’
    • ‘The garden has a water feature, paving and decking as well as plants that provide optimum scents.’
    • ‘So did you find that there was any sort of optimum age for starting school?’
    • ‘Positioning oneself for optimum tanning on a Balearic beach requires some thought.’
    • ‘At Macy's age, the optimum amount of alcohol for her to consume is less than one unit a day.’
    • ‘So why are some of those who manage to provide this optimum environment for their children now demanding to be compensated?’
    • ‘Choose a plot that receives optimum sunshine and avoid steep slopes.’
    • ‘When they attacked him, he made optimum use of his energies and floored them all.’
    • ‘The single will be launched on The Late Late Show with the hope of reaching optimum sales in Christmas week.’
    • ‘So it is irrelevant what he or she thinks is a fair, just, or optimum law or philosophy of life.’
    • ‘After slaughter, it ought to have been hung for approximately 28 days for optimum texture and flavour.’
    • ‘The state's role is to gently guide the actions of each individual, so that the optimum outcome for all is reached and sustained.’
    best, most favourable, most advantageous, most appropriate, ideal, perfect, prime, optimal, model
    finest, superlative, peak, top, supreme, excellent, flawless, first-class
    tip-top, a1, stellar, top-notch
    View synonyms


  • The most favourable situation or level for growth, reproduction, or success:

    ‘the plant grows within a range of 68 and 78°F, the optimum being 74°’
    ‘the optimum must lie between these two values’
    • ‘If the absolute value of a genetic correlation is less than 1, selection will eventually bring trait means to their respective individual optima, although it may require an extremely long time.’
    • ‘To avoid issues regarding bad convergence and local optima all analyses were run from multiple starting values and results were accepted only when several starting points converged on the same maximum likelihood.’
    • ‘If habitat optima differ between the sexes, breeding habitat may reflect more the optimum of the controlling sex (presumably the choosing females) than that of the noncontrolling sex, entailing a cost to the latter.’
    • ‘As Raup observed, these peaks need not be adaptive optima for each individual trait but rather may be best interpreted as compromise solutions that satisfy several functional constraints.’
    • ‘For some, but not all, of these thermally sensitive traits acclimatization leads to adaptive shifts in thermal optima and limits.’


Late 19th century: from Latin, neuter (used as a noun) of optimus best.