The verb minimize describes making something smaller or less serious. It typically refers to something negative that is being reduced, like when you eat at home instead of in restaurants to minimize expenses.
To correctly pronounce minimize, accent the first syllable, which gets the short i sound: "MIH-nuh-mize." Minimize looks like minimum, which has the same spelling and meaning in English and Latin: smallest. To minimize something is to reduce it to its smallest amount — in size or importance. Other related words include minimal, miniscule, minute, and mini.