Definition of minimum in US English:


nounPlural minimums, Plural minima

  • 1usually in singular The least or smallest amount or quantity possible, attainable, or required.

    ‘they checked passports with the minimum of fuss’
    ‘technical difficulties have been kept to a minimum’
    • ‘If animals are required, the numbers used should be kept to a minimum.’
    • ‘In my opinion if the current force did as was required of them extra funding would be kept to a minimum, therefore reducing our costs.’
    • ‘So it's always wise to have an emergency recipe or two, using always-available ingredients, and amenable to be prepared with the minimum of fuss and time but to the maximum impressiveness possible.’
    • ‘Implementation of the programme worked well when run from an established home health service and required the minimum of input from other staff.’
    • ‘Imported components are kept to a minimum and wherever possible are long life and locally maintainable.’
    • ‘The main concerns in schools are that the measures are introduced as smoothly as possible and that costs are kept to a minimum.’
    • ‘The work, however, needs to be done and we are doing everything we can to make sure that it is done as quickly as possible with the minimum of inconvenience.’
    • ‘One section in the 752-page book says the goal of tax planning is to ‘pay the minimum of what is required.’’
    • ‘Alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum or if possible avoided.’
    • ‘And now that the war has started, our principal objective is to make sure that it ends at the soonest possible time with the minimum of casualties.’
    • ‘Food is kept as fresh and natural as possible with the minimum of intervention in the cooking.’
    • ‘Those charges are still being finalised, but they will be kept to a minimum where possible.’
    • ‘It is time Labour took the next step and made sure students got at least the bare minimum required to survive, so that their debt burden does not continue to spiral.’
    • ‘The Connecting the City team has carefully planned the routes to ensure they are the shortest and safest possible and cause the minimum of disruption.’
    • ‘But it was injected with determination and laced with a hunger to do the job required with the minimum of fuss.’
    • ‘The Family Court is dealing with people who are in very emotive situations and need some help to try to get the best result possible with the minimum of damage to the family relationships involved.’
    • ‘A partnership can be formed and operated with the minimum of formality - no written agreement is required, although it is always sensible to have one.’
    • ‘The person also must be fully insured and must agree after training to work as a childminder for at least the minimum of two years.’
    • ‘The petitions bore more than 2,500 signatures, well over the minimum of 1,695 required by state election laws.’
    • ‘The standard-fit electric folding soft top requires the minimum of effort and when the weather turns less than perfect the standard hard top is a boon.’
    lowest level, lower limit, bottom level, bottom, base, least, lowest, rock bottom, slightest, depth, nadir
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    1. 1.1 The lowest or smallest amount of a varying quantity (e.g. temperature) allowed, attained, or recorded.
      ‘clients with a minimum of $500,000 to invest’
      ‘winter minima of -40 ° C have been recorded’
      • ‘Some suppliers have large quantity minimums and it may be worthwhile to go in with other area growers for an order.’
      • ‘There will be a maximum of 52 overs in the first innings if time allows and a minimum of 48 in the second.’
      • ‘Panels a and b display the average minima recorded during the years 1979-90 and 1991-2002, respectively.’
      • ‘Tiffindell Ski Resort near Rhodes recorded a minimum of - 5,6°C early on Sunday.’
      • ‘World-wide, estimates vary from a minimum of 50000 up to 150000 abortion-related deaths per annum.’
      • ‘This effect in eucalypt forests has been attributed mainly to increase in temperature minima, as a canopy of shelter trees is a better source of thermal radiation than a clear night sky.’
      • ‘The average minimum was 25.3 ¼ C and the lowest minimum was 10.2 ¼ C recorded on January 13.’
      • ‘The value of each scholarship can vary from a minimum of 3800 per annum to a maximum of 38000 over the duration of the course.’
      • ‘3°C has been the minimum recorded both in June and July.’
      • ‘Increased weather minimums should be established for night flight.’
      • ‘During August, Rotorua recorded an average maximum temperature of 16C and an average minimum of 3C.’
      • ‘The absolute minimum was recorded during winter in all the species.’
      • ‘In addition, the optimum angle setting for a spoiler is zero degrees, which is also the minimum allowed on Pro Stock cars by the NHRA technical department.’
      • ‘The levels of rbcS mRNA decreased to a minimum at 76 DAS, then increased to a maximum at 110 DAS, and finally declined.’
      • ‘The maximum incidence in Pune occurred in winter and the minimum in the rainy season 40.’
      • ‘Fish diversity reaches a maximum in late summer and early autumn, and a minimum in late winter and early spring.’
      • ‘This is because our minimum feature size of 10 yam is also the minimum allowed by the mask manufacturer, and the variance at this feature size is 3.2 m.’
      • ‘Awards can vary from a minimum of €3,200 a year to a maximum of €38,000 over the duration of the chosen college course.’
      • ‘The window size is varied from a minimum of 5 bp up to half the sequence length.’
      • ‘Seven is gracious and the minimum allowed in such cases.’
    2. 1.2Mathematics A point at which a continuously varying quantity ceases to decrease and begins to increase; the value of a quantity at such a point.
      • ‘The RLF pattern obtained at the start of the drying cycle was similar in nature and magnitude to that obtained at the end of the drying cycle when the RAWC value had reached a minimum.’
      • ‘Most notably, the second and third maxima of the buckled MT form factor occur at q values similar to minima in the unbuckled MT form factor.’
      • ‘The average number of hydrogen bonds is 6.8, which is the sum of the four integral values at the first minimum in the corresponding radial distribution function.’
      • ‘These local minima significantly hinder the algorithm to locate the true minimum and greatly increase the convergence time.’
      • ‘A curvature direction is the direction of intersection in which a normal curvature attains either a minimum or a maximum.’


  • attributive Smallest or lowest.

    ‘this can be done with the minimum amount of effort’
    • ‘For each state a minimum level of expenditure was set for programs to assist the poor, and for the most part the states have met these minimum requirements.’
    • ‘And ING Direct does not offer checking accounts or impose any fees, service charges or minimum requirements on its products.’
    • ‘The central bank wants tougher rules for obtaining a banking license, better financial reporting standards, and higher minimum capital requirements.’
    • ‘Nasdaq has started delisting procedures against the company because its market capitalisation does not meet minimum requirements.’
    • ‘For a four-year honours degree in history, the absolute minimum requirement for entry was three Bs at Higher level.’
    • ‘Only 13% of its pupils had attained three or more Higher passes, the minimum entry requirement for university.’
    • ‘Registered establishments must comply with national minimum standards and the requirements of regulations setting out how they are expected to operate.’
    • ‘It seems to me that all that can be said of the Directive is that it sought to bring in minimum requirements.’
    • ‘This agreement lays down minimum requirements designed to facilitate the reconciliation of parental and professional responsibilities for working parents.’
    • ‘Students who meet minimum university entry requirements and are willing to pay would clearly benefit, as would universities.’
    • ‘We run through four supermarkets in town to fulfill our minimum requirements.’
    • ‘It is also envisaged that a model filling station would meet minimum safety and environmental requirements.’
    • ‘There are concerns regarding the lack of statutory minimum solvency requirement for funds in Namibia.’
    • ‘A comparable list of minimum requirements could be drawn up for drought and other environmental stresses.’
    • ‘The crown argued that each case has its own minimum requirement that depends on its facts and the sophistication of the particular unrepresented accused.’
    • ‘All candidate cities that meet minimum requirements and evaluation criteria to take part in final ballot.’
    • ‘In Wildlife Park, animals only need one terrain, and for other things you just need to meet minimum requirements.’
    • ‘The competency requirements stipulate minimum achievement levels in English, math, and foreign languages.’
    • ‘Management had asked the union to present minimum requirements for the resolution of the dispute.’
    • ‘Each hot meal that is served by the cafeteria is planned at the central school district headquarters to meet certain minimum nutrition requirements.’
    minimal, least, smallest, least possible, slightest, lowest, rock-bottom, minutest, littlest
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  • at a (or the) minimum

    • At the very least.

      ‘we zipped along at a minimum of 55 mph’
      • ‘He seemed to acknowledge that, at the minimum, at least expand and make permanent those that will expire next year.’
      • ‘So if the new government does not wish to be too different from the old one, it needs to work on accomplishing at least ‘miniscule’ differences, so that at the minimum, a 0.2 percent difference exists between the two.’
      • ‘Well, at the minimum, I would insist on a caveat.’
      • ‘There's some evidence that he's more aware of other leaders playing up anti-Americanism in their home countries than any other President before him; at the minimum, he is more bothered by it.’
      • ‘You might at a minimum find, at least as an American, that we have been sold this idea.’
      • ‘Each guest should, at the minimum, have one fork to use for each course.’
      • ‘Usually, people take gaofang for one month and the total cost is about 1,000 yuan at the minimum.’
      • ‘It is suggested that the tournament consist of at least three rounds or ten games at a minimum.’
      • ‘And that's something that we can't evaluate for several years at the minimum.’
      • ‘The first sign that one may be ready to join such alternative modes of security may be a contempt, or, at the minimum, a dissatisfaction with the society of the spectacle.’
      at the minimum, no less than, not less than
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Mid 17th century: from Latin, neuter of minimus ‘least’.