1 [min-it]
the sixtieth part (1/60) of an hour; sixty seconds.
an indefinitely short space of time: Wait a minute!
an exact point in time; instant; moment: Come here this minute!
minutes, the official record of the proceedings at a meeting of a society, committee, or other group.
Chiefly British. a written summary, note, or memorandum.
a rough draft, as of a document.
Geometry. the sixtieth part of a degree of angular measure, often represented by the sign ′, as in 12° 10′, which is read as 12 degrees and 10 minutes. Compare angle1 ( def 1c ).
verb (used with object), minuted, minuting.
to time exactly, as movements or speed.
to make a draft of (a document or the like).
to record in a memorandum; note down.
to enter in the minutes of a meeting.
prepared in a very short time: minute pudding.
up to the minute, modern; up-to-date: The building design is up to the minute.

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin minūta, noun use of feminine of minūtus minute2

unminuted, adjective

2. jiffy, second. Minute, instant, moment refer to small amounts of time. A minute properly denoting 60 seconds, is often used loosely for any very short space of time (and may be interchangeable with second ): I'll be there in just a minute. An instant is practically a point in time, with no duration, though it is also used to mean a perceptible amount of time: not an instant's delay. Moment denotes much the same as instant though with a somewhat greater sense of duration (but somewhat less than minute ): It will only take a moment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [mahy-noot, -nyoot, mi-]
adjective, minuter, minutest.
extremely small, as in size, amount, extent, or degree: minute differences.
of minor importance; insignificant; trifling.
attentive to or concerned with even the smallest details: a minute examination.

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin minūtus (past participle of minuere to make smaller or fewer), equivalent to minū- verb stem + -tus past participle suffix. See minus, minor

minuteness, noun

1. tiny, infinitesimal, minuscule. See little. 3. detailed, exact, precise.

1. large. 3. rough, general.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
minute1 (ˈmɪnɪt)
1.  a period of time equal to 60 seconds; one sixtieth of an hour
2.  Also called: minute of arc, a unit of angular measure equal to one sixtieth of a degree
3.  any very short period of time; moment
4.  a short note or memorandum
5.  the distance that can be travelled in a minute: it's only two minutes away
6.  (up-to-the-minute when prenominal) up to the minute very latest or newest
7.  to record in minutes: to minute a meeting
8.  to time in terms of minutes
[C14: from Old French from Medieval Latin minūta, n. use of Latin minūtusminute²]

minute2 (maɪˈnjuːt)
1.  very small; diminutive; tiny
2.  unimportant; petty
3.  precise or detailed: a minute examination
[C15: from Latin minūtus, past participle of minuere to diminish]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "sixtieth part of an hour," from O.Fr. minut, from M.L. minuta "minute, short note," from L. minuta, fem. of minutus "small, minute" (see minute (adj.)). In M.L., pars minuta prima "first small part" was used by mathematician Ptolemy for one-sixtieth of a circle,
later of an hour (next in order was secunda minuta, which became second (n.)).

early 15c., "chopped small," from L. minutus "small," pp. of minuere "lessen," related to minor (q.v.). Meaning "very small in size or degree" is attested from 1620s. Related: Minutely.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
minute  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (mĭn'ĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A unit of time equal to 1/60 of an hour or 60 seconds. ◇ A sidereal minute is 1/60 of a sidereal hour, and a mean solar minute is 1/60 of a mean solar hour. See more at sidereal time, solar time.

  2. A unit of angular measurement, such as longitude or right ascension, that is equal to 1/60 of a degree or 60 seconds.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see at the last minute; every minute counts; just a minute; mile a minute; wait a minute.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in timekeeping, 60 seconds, now defined in terms of radiation emitted from atoms of the element cesium under specified conditions. The minute was formerly defined as the 60th part of an hour, or the 1,440th part (60 24 [hours] = 1,440) of a mean solar day-i.e., of the average period of rotation of the Earth relative to the Sun. The minute of sidereal time (time measured by the stars rather than by the Sun) was a fraction of a second shorter than the mean solar minute. The minute of atomic time is very nearly equal to the mean solar minute in duration

Learn more about minute with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The strut is repeated endlessly, eight or ten times a minute during the busiest
  display period after dawn.
It is not even the minute, precise, loving observation of her aspects that
  gives him his pre-eminence.
We were only in the game for 5 or 6 minutes tops.
Even a six-minute snooze boosts memory.
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