from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A unit of fluid measure, as.
  • noun In the United States, 1/60 of a fluid dram (0.0616 milliliter).
  • noun In Great Britain, 1/20 of a scruple (0.0592 milliliter).
  • noun Music A half note.
  • noun An insignificantly small portion or thing.
  • noun A downward vertical stroke in handwriting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Very small; diminutive; pygmy.
  • noun A very diminutive man or being.
  • noun [capitalized] One of an order of monks, founded in the middle of the fifteenth century by St. Francis of Paola, confirmed by Pope Sixtus IV., and again confirmed by Pope Alexander VI. under the name of “Ordo Minimorum Ere-mitarum s. Francisci de Paula” (order of the least hermits of St. Francis of Paola).
  • noun In musical notation, a note equivalent in timevalue to one half of a semibreve: it is now also called a half-note, but in early medieval music it was the shortest note used. Also minima.—
  • noun A short poem.
  • noun The smallest liquid measure, generally regarded as about equal to one drop. It is the sixtieth part of a fluidrachm. See apothecaries measure, under measure.
  • noun A small size of type, now called minion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Minute.
  • noun Anything very minute; ; -- applied to animalcula; and the like.
  • noun The smallest liquid measure, equal to about one drop; the sixtieth part of a fluid drachm, equal to one four-hundred-eightieth of a fluid ounce, or 0.06161 milliliter (U. S. measure) or 0.05919 milliliters (British measure).
  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. A small fish; a minnow.
  • noun obsolete A little man or being; a dwarf.
  • noun (Eccl. Hist.) One of an austere order of mendicant hermits or friars founded in the 15th century by St. Francis of Paola.
  • noun (Mus.) A time note, formerly the shortest in use; a half note, equal to half a semibreve, or two quarter notes or crotchets.
  • noun obsolete A short poetical encomium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music A half note, drawn as a semibreve with a stem.
  • noun A unit of volume, in the Imperial and U.S. customary systems, 1/60 fluid drachm. Approximately equal to 1 drop, 62 μL or 0.9 grain (weight) of water.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a United States liquid unit equal to 1/60 fluidram
  • noun a musical note having the time value of half a whole note
  • noun a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 1/60th fluid dram or 0.059194 cubic centimeters


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, half note, from Medieval Latin minimus, least, from Latin; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • "'...if you think fit I will administer it myself, together with twenty-five minims of laudanum.'"

    --P. O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral, 197

    March 19, 2008

  • Problem is, 25 minims of anything is bound to leave a person more than a little crotchety.

    March 19, 2008