The minimum is the lowest or smallest amount possible or acceptable. If you do the minimum amount of work at your job, you might not get fired — but you definitely won't get promoted.

Minimum is Latin for smallest, so clearly English speakers have done less than the minimum amount of messing with the meaning of this word. Obviously, the opposite is maximum. At minimum, you should know that the word means the smallest limit of something. At most, you should be able to talk about its Latin roots.

Definitions of minimum
  1. noun
    the smallest possible quantity
    synonyms: lower limit
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    maximum, upper limit
    the largest possible quantity
    something reduced to its minimal form
    type of:
    extremum, peak
    the most extreme possible amount or value
    small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
  2. noun
    the point on a curve where the tangent changes from negative on the left to positive on the right
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    the point on a curve where the tangent changes from positive on the left to negative on the right
    type of:
    as far as something can go
  3. adjective
    the least possible
    minimum wage”
    synonyms: minimal
    borderline, marginal
    of questionable or minimal quality
    so small as to be meaningless; insignificant
    nominal, token, tokenish
    insignificantly small; a matter of form only (`tokenish' is informal)
    stripped, stripped-down
    having only essential or minimal features
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    maximal, maximum
    the greatest or most complete or best possible
    greatest or maximal in degree; extreme
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Word Family

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