Definition of minimax in US 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 Denoting a method or strategy in game theory that minimizes the greatest risk to a participant in a game or other situation of conflict.
      • ‘This paper introduced the idea of minimax reasoning for lower bounding randomized algorithms, and appeared only in FOCS 83.’
      • ‘Michie recalls Turing experimenting with heuristics that later became common in chess programming (in particular minimax and best-first).’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘In game theory von Neumann proved the minimax theorem.’
      • ‘One possible solution is the minimax search algorithm.’


1940s: blend of minimum and maximum.