Meaning of OPTIMUM in English


I. -_məm noun

( plural opti·ma -mə ; also optimums )

Etymology: Latin, neuter of optimus best — more at optimism

1. : the amount or degree of something that is most favorable to some end ; especially : the most favorable condition (as of temperature, light, moisture, food) for the growth and reproduction of an organism


a. : greatest degree (as of growth, activity, or effectiveness) attained under implied or specified conditions

this pest reaches its optimum further south

b. : a period of warmer and drier climate than that of the present

the post-Wisconsin optimum of the northern hemisphere is considered to have occurred between 6000 B.C. and 3000 B.C.

II. adjective

1. : most favorable or most conducive to a given end especially under fixed conditions

optimum temperature for incubation

question is one of combining these various techniques to optimum advantage — H.V.R.Iengar

2. : greatest or best possible under a restriction expressed or implied

optimum safe speed

an optimum return on capital

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.