Definitions

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

  • adj. Most favorable or desirable; optimum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. The best, most favourable or desirable, especially under some restriction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Best possible; most desirable; optimum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Best; most favorable: specifically, in experimental psychology, referring to the frequency or duration of stimuli, to the length of intervals between experiments, etc., so timed as to allow of most accurate reproduction or apprehension, or of most adequate attentive preparation: as, the optimal interval for reproduction, the optimal preparation-time, the optimal rate of recurrence, the optimal rhythm, etc.
  • Of or pertaining to the optimum, as of temperature, moisture, etc. See optimum.

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

  • adj. most desirable possible under a restriction expressed or implied

Etymologies

From the Latin optimum suffixed with -al. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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