1 adj You use minimum to describe an amount which is the smallest that is possible, allowed, or required.
ADJ n (Antonym: maximum)
He was only five feet nine, the minimum height for a policeman., ...a rise in the minimum wage.
Minimum is also a noun., n-sing oft a N of amount
This will take a minimum of one hour..., Four foot should be seen as an absolute minimum.
2 adj You use minimum to state how small an amount is.
The basic needs of life are available with minimum effort..., Neil and Chris try to spend the minimum amount of time on the garden.
Minimum is also a noun., n-sing a N of n
With a minimum of fuss, she produced the grandson he had so desperately wished for.
3 adv If you say that something is a particular amount minimum, you mean that this is the smallest amount it should be or could possibly be, although a larger amount is acceptable or very possible.
amount ADV (Antonym: maximum)
You're talking over a thousand pounds minimum for one course.
4 You use at a minimum, or at the minimum, when you want to indicate that something is the very least which could or should happen.
at the most phrase amount PHR, PHR with cl, PHR after v (Antonym: at the maximum)
This would take three months at a minimum...
5 If you say that someone keeps something to a minimum, or to the minimum, you mean that they keep the amount of it as small as possible.
to a/the minimum phrase PHR after v Office machinery is kept to a minimum...
minimum security prison ( minimum security prisons plural ) A minimum security prison is a prison where there are fewer restrictions on prisoners than in a normal prison.
(mainly AM) n-count
in BRIT, use open prison
Theminimum wage is the lowest wage that an employer is allowed to pay an employee, according to a law or agreement. n-sing