Definitions

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

  • adjective Most favorable or desirable; optimum.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

  • adjective Best possible; most desirable; optimum.

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

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

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

  • adjective most desirable possible under a restriction expressed or implied

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin optimum suffixed with -al.

Examples

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