Craftsmen can paint whole villages or detailed portraits of people on a grain of rice using minute, or tiny, paintbrushes. Often the works of art are so minute that you can only see them with a magnifying glass.

Minutus is the Latin word for “small,” and it gave rise to both the adjective minute (my-NOOT), or incredibly small, and the noun minute (MIN-it), or 60 seconds of time. Though they are pronounced differently, both words refer to small measurements. An object can be minute, like a flea compared with its dog, and less concrete things can be minute, like your minute chance of winning the lottery. A minute freckle on the side of your nose is a minute detail of your whole face.

Definitions of minute
  1. noun

    a unit of time equal to 60 seconds or 1/60th of an hour

    “he ran a 4
    minute mile”
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    type of:

    time unit, unit of time

    a unit for measuring time periods

  2. noun

    an indefinitely short time

    “it only takes a
    bit, mo, moment, second
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    New York minute, blink of an eye, flash, heartbeat, instant, jiffy, split second, trice, twinkling, wink

    a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
    type of:


    an indefinite period (usually marked by specific attributes or activities)

  3. noun

    a particular point in time

    instant, moment, second
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    show 9 types…
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    climax, culmination

    the decisive moment in a novel or play
    eleventh hour, last minute

    the latest possible moment
    moment of truth

    a crucial moment on which much depends
    moment of truth

    the moment in a bullfight when the matador kills the bull

    a very brief moment

    a suitable moment
    psychological moment

    the most appropriate time for achieving a desired effect
    high time

    the latest possible moment

    the time of a particular event
    type of:

    point, point in time

    an instant of time

  4. noun

    distance measured by the time taken to cover it

    “its just 10
    minutes away”
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    type of:


    the property created by the space between two objects or points

  5. adjective

    infinitely or immeasurably small

    minute whiplike threads of protoplasm”

    little, small

    limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent
  6. adjective

    characterized by painstaking care and detailed examination

    minute inspection of the grounds”
    “an exact and
    minute report”


    exercising caution or showing care or attention
  7. noun

    a unit of angular distance equal to a 60th of a degree

    arcminute, minute of arc
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    type of:

    angular unit

    a unit of measurement for angles

  8. noun

    a short note

    “the secretary keeps the
    minutes of the meeting”
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    type of:


    a brief written record

Word Family