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

  • noun A very small delicate creature.
  • adjective Very small.
  • adjective Trivial; petty.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fine mincing lass.
  • noun A pin of the smallest sort. Also called minifer-pin. Halliwell.
  • noun The second size of splints used in making matches.
  • noun 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.

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

  • noun obsolete A little darling; a favorite; a minion.
  • noun obsolete A little pin.
  • adjective Small; diminutive.

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

  • noun obsolete A young person, especially a young woman.
  • noun obsolete A small or insignificant person, thing or amount.
  • adjective obsolete Diminutive or miniature.


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

[Obsolete Dutch minneken, darling, from Middle Dutch, diminutive of minne, love; see men- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • They are mounted each year with grand ingenuity and minikin budgets.

    Francesca da Rimini, Fantastic Mr Fox; BBC Proms 24 & 25 2010

  • It is a very small bag, containing a yet smaller rolled-up housewife furnished with minikin needles and fine thread.

    Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters A Family Record Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh

  • 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.

    A Sailor of King George Frederick Hoffman

  • 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.

    History of Louisisana Or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing -1775 Le Page du Pratz

  • 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.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, November 20, 1841 Various

  • 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.

    Mrs. Miniver 1939

  • 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.

    Try Anything Twice 1938

  • 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.

    Jane Austen: Her Homes and Her Friends 1901

  • 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

    Shakespeare and Music With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries 1900

  • 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."

    From Chaucer to Tennyson 1886


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  • "And WHO," Mr. Bede screamed, "will look after us minikins?"

    - William Steig, The Toy Brother

    September 15, 2008

  • Then give me leave to leave my Rent with thee ;

    Five kisses, one unto a place :

    For though the Lute's too high for me ;

    Yet Servants knowing Minikin nor Base,

    Are still allow'd to fiddle with the Case.

    - Richard Lovelace, 'Elinda's Glove'.

    February 7, 2009

  • Aquinas, an obese Dominican,

    Thought excess had hardly been a sin

    True, many acts oral

    Were greatly immoral

    But gluttony merely a minikin.

    August 21, 2015

  • NEW! Fuflun minikins.

    April 11, 2021