American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Archaic A very small delicate creature.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A fine mincing lass.
- n. A pin of the smallest sort. Also called minifer-pin. Halliwell.
- n. The second size of splints used in making matches.
- n. A small sort of gut-string formerly used in the lute and viol, and various other stringed instruments: it was properly the treble string of a lute or fiddle.
- Small; fine; delicate; dainty.
- n. obsolete A young person, especially a young woman.
- n. obsolete A small or insignificant person, thing or amount.
- adj. obsolete Diminutive or miniature.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete A little darling; a favorite; a minion.
- n. obsolete A little pin.
- adj. Small; diminutive.
- Obsolete Dutch minneken, darling, from Middle Dutch, diminutive of minne, love; see men-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“They are mounted each year with grand ingenuity and minikin budgets.”
“It is a very small bag, containing a yet smaller rolled-up housewife furnished with minikin needles and fine thread.”
“Corking, minikin, and all description of pins, were obliged to be made in the regular way; and cows even departed this world without the honour of the human immolations formerly considered the necessary sacrifice for the loss of their inestimable lives.”
“The only room I could obtain, which contained a small bed, a minikin table, and two common chairs, cost me fifty francs a month, (about two pounds sterling), and I was considered fortunate in having such good lodgings.”
“The Jesuits have the Cure there, with a fine habitation and a mill; in digging the foundation of which last, a quarry of orbicular flat stones was found, about two inches in diameter, of the shape of a buffoon's cap, with six sides, whose groove was set with small buttons of the size of the head of a minikin or small pin.”
“Judy, talking the whole time, pulled all her treasures out in a heap, took a quick glance at them and went straight for the one she liked best -- a minikin black baby 2 in a wicker cradle.”
“Against such minikin blossoms a drop of dew looks the size of a gazing-crystal, and the ordinary lemon-yellow hawkbit towers above them like a sunflower.”
“It consists of a narrow strip of flowered silk, embroidered at the back, which measures four inches by one and a quarter, and is furnished with minikin needles and fine thread.”
“Adrian Le Roy's book, published in Paris about 1570, says the six strings were tuned as follows -- 1st (minikin), C in third space, treble staff; 2nd (small mean), G on second line; 3rd (great mean), D under the staff; 4th (counter-tenor), B flat over the bass staff; 5th”
“It may be said of it, as Thackery said of Gay's pastorals: "It is to poetry what charming little Dresden china figures are to sculpture, graceful, minikin, fantastic, with a certain beauty always accompanying them.”
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Citation: 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, unabridged from the original 1811 edition, with a foreword by Max Harris. London: Bibliophile Books, 1984.
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