Meaning of MINIMUM in English


I. min ‧ i ‧ mum 1 S2 W3 AC /ˈmɪnəməm, ˈmɪnɪməm/ BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ minimum , ↑ minimalism , ↑ minimalist ; adjective : ↑ minimal , ↑ minimum , ↑ minimalist ; adverb : ↑ minimally , ↑ minimum ; verb : ↑ minimize ]

the minimum number, degree, or amount of something is the smallest or least that is possible, allowed, or needed OPP maximum :

The minimum number of students we need to run the course is fifteen.

The minimum age for retirement is 55.

—minimum adverb :

You’ll need two tons of cement, minimum.

II. minimum 2 AC BrE AmE noun [singular]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ minimum , ↑ minimalism , ↑ minimalist ; adjective : ↑ minimal , ↑ minimum , ↑ minimalist ; adverb : ↑ minimally , ↑ minimum ; verb : ↑ minimize ]

[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: minimus 'smallest' ]

1 . the smallest amount of something or number of things that is possible or necessary OPP maximum

a minimum of two hours/£1,000 etc

The judge recommended that he should serve a minimum of 12 years.

minimum of

He achieved enviable results with the minimum of effort.

absolute/bare minimum (=the very least amount or number)

Prison inmates are kept in tiny cells, with the bare minimum of furniture.

keep/reduce something to a minimum

She had reduced her consumption of fat and sugar to an absolute minimum.

2 . at a/the minimum used to say that if nothing else is done, this one thing should be done:

At a minimum, we must recruit two new teachers.

• • •


■ verbs

▪ have a minimum of something

Candidates should have a minimum of five years’ work experience.

▪ keep something to a minimum (=to keep something at a low level)

Keep the noise to a minimum, will you?

▪ reduce something to a minimum (=make something less, so it is at a low level)

We want to reduce the environmental impact to a minimum.

▪ need a minimum of something ( also require a minimum of something formal )

We’ll need a minimum of two days to get this ready.

■ adjectives

▪ an absolute/bare minimum (=the very least amount)

He paid in five pounds, the bare minimum needed to keep the bank account open.

▪ the legal/statutory minimum (=the least amount the law says you must have)

The wage was often well below the legal minimum.

▪ the required/necessary minimum (=the least amount that you must have)

He received 35 votes, two more than the required minimum.

■ phrases

▪ with a minimum of fuss (=with very little anxious behaviour or activity)

They checked our passports with the minimum of fuss.

▪ with a minumum of effort (=with very little effort)

The house could be restored with a minimum of effort.

• • •


▪ limit the highest number, speed, temperature etc that is allowed by a law or rule:

He borrowed money up to the limit that the bank allowed.


The speed limit is 65 m.p.h.


There’s no limit on the amount of money that may be brought into the US.


Pollution levels are over the official limit.


Some families set limits on how much they spend on each other’s Christmas present.

▪ restrictions rules or laws that strictly control what you are allowed to do:

Travel restrictions might reduce the spread of the disease.


Unions are pressing for restrictions on steel imports from Japan.


Because of restrictions on reporting, newspapers were not allowed to cover the story.


New restrictions have been imposed on immigration.

▪ limitations limits on what a person or thing is able to do – used especially when you would like to be able to do more:

The president was unwilling to accept limitations on his power.


the limitations of the computer system


Hikers should know their physical limitations and not take unnecessary risks.

▪ constraints facts or conditions that limit what you can do, for example not having enough time, money etc:

Financial constraints are forcing many people in their twenties to live with their parents.


The last part of the show had to be cut because of time constraints.


The constraints of prison life are sometimes too much for people to bear.

▪ maximum the largest number or amount that is possible, normal, or allowed:

Classes have a maximum of twenty students.


What’s the maximum you can earn before you have to pay tax?

▪ minimum the smallest number or amount that is possible or allowed:

He was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison.


Our aim is to reduce the number of accidents to an absolute minimum.

▪ ceiling the largest number or amount of something that is officially allowed:

There is a ceiling on the amount of foreign investment.


Import quotas may rise from the present ceiling of 18.5 million to 20 million.


Congress was once again considering raising the federal debt ceiling.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.