9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[min-uh-muh l] /ˈmɪn ə məl/
constituting a minimum:
a minimal mode of transportation.
barely adequate or the least possible:
minimal care.
Origin of minimal
1660-70; minim(um) + -al1
Related forms
minimally, adverb
nonminimal, adjective
subminimal, adjective
Can be confused
minimal, minimize, minimum, minuscule, minutia (see usage note at minuscule)
2. nominal, minimum. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for minimal
  • Because a local anesthetic is used, discomfort during the procedure is usually minimal.
  • Hurley said, and complaints from students have been minimal.
  • My goal is to train for the marathon-and train well-with minimal disruption to my life.
  • We need to have an honest dialogue on what testing can be done with minimal impact on the research subject.
  • Its lobed feet-a feature that distinguishes it from ducks and loons-and agile legs provide lots of thrust and minimal drag.
  • It's minimal in terms of features, but it gets almost everything right.
  • Only a few half-inch incisions are made, and scarring is minimal.
  • Sad to say, the impact of the study's findings will probably be minimal.
  • The risk of one part contaminating another would be minimal.
  • After all, it delivers years and years of dependable hot water with minimal effort.
British Dictionary definitions for minimal


of the least possible; minimum or smallest
Derived Forms
minimally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for minimal

"smallest, least," 1660s, from Latin minimus (see minim) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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