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minuscule

[min-uh-skyool, mi-nuhs-kyool] /ˈmɪn əˌskyul, mɪˈnʌs kyul/
adjective
1.
very small.
2.
(of letters or writing) small; not capital.
3.
written in such letters (opposed to majuscule).
noun
4.
a minuscule letter.
5.
a small cursive script developed in the 7th century a.d. from the uncial, which it afterward superseded.
Origin
1695-1705
1695-1705; < Latin minusculus smallish. See minus, -cule1
Related forms
minuscular, adjective
Can be confused
minimal, minimize, minimum, minuscule, minutia (see usage note at the current entry)
Usage note
Minuscule, from Latin minus meaning “less,” has frequently come to be spelled miniscule, perhaps under the influence of the prefix mini- in the sense “of a small size.” Although this newer spelling is criticized by many, it occurs with such frequency in edited writing that some consider it a variant spelling rather than a misspelling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for minuscular

minuscule

/ˈmɪnəˌskjuːl/
noun
1.
a lower-case letter
2.
writing using such letters
3.
a small cursive 7th-century style of lettering derived from the uncial
adjective
4.
relating to, printed in, or written in small letters Compare majuscule
5.
very small
6.
(of letters) lower-case
Derived Forms
minuscular (mɪˈnʌskjʊlə) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Latin (littera) minuscula very small (letter), diminutive of minor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for minuscular
minuscule
c.1730, "small (not capital) letter," from Fr. minuscule, from L. minuscula, in minuscula littera "slightly smaller letter," fem. of minusculus "rather less," dim. of minus "less" (see minus). Extended meaning of "extremely small" is first attested 1893.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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