views updated May 21 2018

mi·nute1 / ˈminit/ • n. 1. a period of time equal to sixty seconds or a sixtieth of an hour: he stood in the shower for twenty minutes in ten minutes' time he could be on his way. ∎  the distance covered in this length of time by someone driving or walking: the hotel is situated just ten minutes from the center of the resort. ∎ inf. a very short time: come and sit down for a minute. ∎  an instant or a point of time: she had been laughing one minute and crying the next.2. (also arc minute or minute of arc) a sixtieth of a degree of angular measurement (symbol: ′).PHRASES: any minute (or at any minute) very soon.by the minute (esp. of the progress of a change) very rapidly: matters grew worse by the minute.just (or wait) a minute1. used as a request to delay an action, departure, or decision for a short time, usually to allow the speaker to do something: wait a minute—I have to put my makeup on.2. as a prelude to a challenge, query, or objection: just a minute—where do you think you're going?the minute (or the minute that) as soon as: let me know the minute he returns.not for a minute not at all: don't think for a minute that our pricing has affected our quality standards.this minute (or this very minute) inf. at once; immediately: pull yourself together this minute.ORIGIN: late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin minuta, feminine (used as a noun) of minutus ‘made small.’ The senses ‘period of sixty seconds’ and ‘sixtieth of a degree’ derive from medieval Latin pars minuta prima ‘first minute part.’mi·nute2 / mīˈn(y)oōt; mə-/ • adj. (-nut·est) extremely small: a minute fraction of an inch. ∎  so small as to verge on insignificance: he will have no more than a minute chance of exercising significant influence. ∎  (of an inquiry or investigation, or an account of one) taking the smallest points into consideration; precise and meticulous: a minute examination of the islands.DERIVATIVES: mi·nute·ly adv.mi·nute·ness n.mi·nute3 / ˈminit/ • n. (minutes) a summarized record of the proceedings at a meeting. ∎  an official memorandum authorizing or recommending a course of action.• v. [tr.] record or note (the proceedings of a meeting or a specified item among such proceedings): the Secretary shall minute the proceedings of each meeting.


views updated Jun 27 2018

A. 60th part of an hour or a degree XIV;

B. rough draft, memorandum XVI. — (O)F. — late L. sb. use of L. minūta, fem. of minūtus MINUTE2. Sense A rests ult. on medL. pars minuta prima ‘first minute part’, the 1/60 of a unit in the (Babylonian) system of sexagesimal fractions (cf. SECOND1 sb.). Sense B depends (perh. through F.) on the medieval use of L. minūta, which may be for minuta scriptura draft in small writing as dist. from the engrossed copy.
Hence minute vb. XVII.


views updated May 18 2018

1. Subdivision of a module, sometimes a sixtieth part of a column-shaft diameter at its base if two modules are equivalent to that diameter, so a minute in this case would be a thirtieth part of a module.

2. Sixtieth part of a degree by which angles are measured.


views updated Jun 08 2018

minute2 † chopped small XV; † lesser XVI; very small; very precise XVII. — L. minūtus (whence F. menu), pp. of minuere lessen, diminish (see MINOR).