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[min-uh-skyool, mi-nuhs-kyool] /ˈmɪn əˌskyul, mɪˈnʌs kyul/
very small.
(of letters or writing) small; not capital.
written in such letters (opposed to majuscule).
a minuscule letter.
a small cursive script developed in the 7th century a.d. from the uncial, which it afterward superseded.
Origin of minuscule
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for minuscule
  • Six minuscule species in many thousand is a small price to pay.
  • It can become the thinnest of wires and, potentially, electronic devices almost as minuscule as.
  • Consider the immense backlog, and what a minuscule percentage one can read in a lifetime of serious attention to reading.
  • The previous estimate showed a minuscule rise in output.
  • Compared to an elephant, the rhinoceros beetle looks minuscule.
  • Physicists suspend an ion in space to act as a minuscule stylus.
  • The powerful amp and minuscule speakers provide generous volume for all but the largest rooms.
  • She would rather eat a minuscule amount of something really good, she said, than heap her plate with less tasty foods.
  • Gas leaks, and the minuscule push provided by infra-red radiation from the crafts' electricity generators, were ruled out.
  • minuscule remote, no elaborate alarm clock, no fancy programming options.
British Dictionary definitions for minuscule


a lower-case letter
writing using such letters
a small cursive 7th-century style of lettering derived from the uncial
relating to, printed in, or written in small letters Compare majuscule
very small
(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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for minuscule

1705, "small (not capital) letter;" as an adjective, "small," from 1727 (in printing; general sense of "extremely small" by 1893), from French minuscule (17c.), from Latin minuscula, in minuscula littera "slightly smaller letter," fem. of minusculus "rather less, rather small," diminutive of minus "less" (see minus). Related: Minuscular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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