General English


  • adjective very small indeed
  • noun a unit of angular measurement equal to one sixtieth of a degree
  • symbolm


  • verb to write down something said at a meeting



  • A time measure equal to 60 seconds. Its abbreviation is min.
  • A unit of angular measure equal to 1/60 degree. Its symbol is '. Also called arcminute.
  • Extremely small or insignificant.


  • feminine Cooked quickly


  • verb to put something into the minutes of a meeting


  • noun a unit of time, corresponding to sixty seconds or a sixtieth part of one hour


  • noun a note or document about a subject

Origin & History of “minute”

Latin minūtus ‘small’ was a derivative of the verb minuere ‘lessen’ (source of English diminish), which itself was based on the element min- ‘small’. In medieval Latin the term pars minuta prima ‘first small part’ was applied to a ‘sixtieth part of a whole’ – originally of a circle, later of an hour (likewise a second was originally a secunda minuta, a sixtieth of a sixtieth). Hence minūta itself came to be used for the unit of time, and that was the original meaning of minute when English acquired it via Old French. Its use for ‘note, record’ may derive from the Latin expression minuta scriptura, which denoted the writing of a rough draft in ‘small’ writing. The adjective minute ‘small’ was an independent 15th-century borrowing direct from Latin. A French descendant of minūtus is the adjective menu ‘small’; its extended sense ‘detailed’ has led to its noun use for ‘list’, and the expression menu de repas ‘meal list’ has given English menu (19th c.).

Other members of the extended family of English words that come ultimately from Latin min- include métier, mince, minim (15th c.), minimum (17th c.), minister, minor, minstrel, minuet (17th c.), minus, minuscule (18th c.), and minutia (15th c.).