Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To reduce to the smallest possible amount, extent, size, or degree.
  • transitive v. Usage Problem To reduce. See Usage Note at minimal.
  • transitive v. To represent as having the least degree of importance, value, or size: minimized the magnitude of the crisis. See Synonyms at decry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make (something) as small or as insignificant as possible.
  • v. To remove (a window) from the main display area, collapsing it to an icon or caption.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To reduce to the smallest part or proportion possible; to reduce to a minimum.
  • transitive v. To represent, to oneself or others, as of no importance or minimal importance or effect; to belittle or disarage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To reduce to a minimum, or to the lowest terms or proportions; make as little or slight as possible; also, to depreciate; treat slightingly: as, to minimize the chances of war. Also spelled minimise.

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

  • v. represent as less significant or important
  • v. cause to seem less serious; play down
  • v. make small or insignificant

Etymologies

From minimum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "reasons to be pretty" (yes, the title is annoyingly lower case) deals with Greg's four-year involvement with Steph, and what happens after a friend of hers overhears Greg disparage - or is it "minimize" - Steph's looks during some dude talk with his buddy Kent.

    JAM! Showbiz

  • In his comments on the call, Mr. Eisman said he didn't intend to "minimize" the current management's efforts to help the company survive the financial crisis.

    Hedge-Fund Manager Eisman Challenges Genworth

  • Or is he perhaps concerned that these marriages will somehow "minimize" the traditional importance of men and women marrying, and raising a family?

    Norman Horowitz: Bacon

  • All of that they tried to kind of minimize today, move beyond today and, at the end of the day, come up with a united front.

    CNN Transcript Apr 2, 2009

  • The Obama plan also calls for regulators to "minimize" the ability of banks to use highly-rated securities to reduce their capital requirements when they have not actually reduced their risks.

    A Triple-A Punt

  • It'll be a great time to be a muckraker, too -- but the Wall Streeters, having written the rules that require them only to "minimize" their conflicts of interest, will just shrug off the criticism.

    James Pinkerton: Wall Street Journal Confirms: Yes, It's a Wall Street Bailout

  • The Department of Treasury will do everything it can to "minimize" conflicts of interest.

    James Pinkerton: Wall Street Journal Confirms: Yes, It's a Wall Street Bailout

  • They seriously think Obama can "minimize" the issue of race if only Jeremiah Wright will shut the hell up!

    Hullabaloo

  • She's not said she's going to do that and I think everybody talking about her doing that is really just an attempt to kind of minimize the credibility of what she is saying today and tomorrow.

    CNN Transcript Jun 1, 2008

  • Comp time is a staple in this industry, but EA as a corporation wishes to "minimize" this reprieve.

    Archive 2004-11-01

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