minimum (n.) Look up minimum at Dictionary.com
1660s, "smallest portion into which matter is divisible," from Latin minimum "smallest" (thing), neuter of minimus "smallest, least," superlative of minor "smaller" (see minor). Meaning "least amount attainable" is from 1670s.
minimum (adj.) Look up minimum at Dictionary.com
1810, from minimum (n.).
minimus (n.) Look up minimus at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Latin minimus (plural minimi); see minim.
mining (n.) Look up mining at Dictionary.com
1520s, verbal noun from mine (v.1).
minion (n.) Look up minion at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "a favorite; a darling; a low dependant; one who pleases rather than benefits" [Johnson], from Middle French mignon "a favorite, darling" (n.), also a term of (probably homosexual) abuse;" as an adjective, "dainty, pleasing, favorite," from Old French mignot "pretty, attractive, dainty, gracious, affectionate," perhaps of Celtic origin (compare Old Irish min "tender, soft"), or from Old High German minnja, minna "love, memory" (see mind (n.)). Used 16c.-17c. without disparaging overtones.
miniscule Look up miniscule at Dictionary.com
common misspelling of minuscule.
miniskirt (n.) Look up miniskirt at Dictionary.com
also mini-skirt, 1965, from mini- + skirt (n.); reputedly the invention of French fashion designer André Courrèges (b.1923).
"The miniskirt enables young ladies to run faster, and because of it, they may have to." [John V. Lindsay, "New York Times," Jan. 13, 1967]
Related: Miniskirted.
minister (v.) Look up minister at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "to perform religious rites, provide religious services;" mid-14c., "to serve (food or drink);" late 14c. "render service or aid," from Old French menistrer "to serve, be of service, administer, attend, wait on," and directly from Latin ministrare "to serve, attend, wait upon" (see minister (n.)). Related: Ministered; ministering.
minister (n.) Look up minister at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "one who acts upon the authority of another," from Old French menistre "servant, valet, member of a household staff, administrator, musician, minstrel" (12c.), from Latin minister (genitive ministri) "inferior, servant, priest's assistant" (in Medieval Latin, "priest"), from minus, minor "less," hence "subordinate," (see minus) + comparative suffix *-teros. Formed on model of magister. Meaning "priest" is attested in English from early 14c. Political sense of "high officer of the state" is attested from 1620s, from notion of "service to the crown."
ministerial (adj.) Look up ministerial at Dictionary.com
1560s, of religion; 1650s, of state; in some uses from Middle French ministériel and directly from Medieval Latin ministerialis "pertaining to service, of a minister," from Latin ministerium (see ministry); in some cases probably directly from minister or ministry.
ministerium (n.) Look up ministerium at Dictionary.com
"ordained ministers of a church district," 1881, from Latin ministerium (see ministry).
ministration (n.) Look up ministration at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "the action of ministering or serving," from Old French ministration or directly from Latin ministrationem (nominative ministratio), noun of action from past participle stem of ministrare "to serve" (see minister (v.)).
ministry (n.) Look up ministry at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "function of a priest," from Old French menistere "service, ministry; position, post, employment," and directly from Latin ministerium "office, service, attendance, ministry," from minister (see minister (n.)). Began to be used 1916 as name of certain departments in British government.
miniver (n.) Look up miniver at Dictionary.com
fur lining and trimming in a garment, c.1300, from Old French menu vair "minor fur;" see menu + vair.
mink (n.) Look up mink at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "skin or fur of the mink," from a Scandinavian source (compare Swedish menk "a stinking animal in Finland"). Applied in English to the animal itself from 1620s.
minke (n.) Look up minke at Dictionary.com
type of small whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), 1939, supposedly from the Norwegian surname Meincke.
The name minke is said to have derived from one of Svend Foyn's crew by the name of Meincke, who mistook a school of these whales for blue whales. Whalers all over the world considered this incident so amusing that they used his name as a household word to describe this species. [J.N. Tønnessen & A.O. Johnsen, "The History of Modern Whaling" (transl. R.I. Christophersen), 1982]
Also known in English as the lesser rorqual and little piked whale.
minnesinger (n.) Look up minnesinger at Dictionary.com
one of a class of medieval German poets who imitated the troubadours, 1825, from German minnesinger, from minne "love," especially "sexual love" (from Old High German minna "loving memory," originally "memory;" see mind (n.)) + singer (see singer). German minne by c.1500 no longer was considered decent, and it became a taboo word until revived 18c. in poetic language.
Minnesota Look up Minnesota at Dictionary.com
originally the name of the river, from Dakota (Siouan) mnisota, literally "cloudy water, milky water," from mni "river, stream" + sota "slightly clouded." As the name of a U.S. territory from 1849 (admitted as a state 1858). Related: Minnesotan.
minnow (n.) Look up minnow at Dictionary.com
small freshwater fish, early 15c., probably related to Old English myne, earlier *mynwe, a name for some kind of fish, from Proto-Germanic *muniwon (cognates: Middle Low German möne, Dutch meun, Old High German muniwa, German Münne), of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE *men- "small." Perhaps influenced in Middle English by French menu "small."
Minoan (adj.) Look up Minoan at Dictionary.com
1894, from Minos, famous king of Crete; applied by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans to the civilization that flourished there c.3000-1400 B.C.E.
minor (n.) Look up minor at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "a Franciscan," from Latin Fratres Minores "lesser brethren," name chosen by St. Francis, who founded the order, for the sake of humility; see minor (adj.). From c.1400 as "minor premise of a syllogism." From 1610s as "person under legal age" (Latin used minores (plural) for "the young"). Musical sense is from 1797. Meaning "secondary subject of study, subject of study with fewer credits than a major" is from 1890; as a verb in this sense from 1934.
minor (adj.) Look up minor at Dictionary.com
early 13c., menour "Franciscan" (see minor (n.)), from Latin minor "less, lesser, smaller, junior," figuratively "inferior, less important," formed as a masculine/feminine form of minus on the mistaken assumption that minus was a neuter comparative, from PIE root *mei- (2) "small" (see minus).

Some English usages are via Old French menor "less, smaller, lower; underage, younger," from Latin minor. Meaning "underage" is from 1570s. Meaning "lesser" in English is from early 15c.; that of "less important" is from 1620s. The musical sense is from 1690s. In the baseball sense, minor league is from 1884; the figurative extension is first recorded 1926.
minority (n.) Look up minority at Dictionary.com
1530s, "condition of being smaller," from Middle French minorité (15c.), or directly from Medieval Latin minoritatem (nominative minoritas), from Latin minor (see minor (adj.)). Meaning "state of being under legal age" is from 1540s; that of "smaller number or part" is from 1736. The meaning "group of people separated from the rest of a community by race, religion, language, etc." is from 1919, originally in an Eastern European context.
Minotaur (n.) Look up Minotaur at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Greek minotauros, from Minos, king of Crete + tauros "bull" (see Taurus). A flesh-eating monster, half man half bull, son of Pasiphae (wife of Minos) by a bull.
minster (n.) Look up minster at Dictionary.com
Old English mynster "the church of a monastery" (8c.), from Late Latin monasterium (see monastery). Compare Old French moustier, French moûtier, Old Irish manister.
minstrel (n.) Look up minstrel at Dictionary.com
early 13c., from Old French menestrel "entertainer, poet, musician; servant, workman; good-for-nothing, rogue," from Medieval Latin ministralis "servant, jester, singer," from Late Latin ministerialem (nominative ministerialis) "imperial household officer, one having an official duty," from ministerialis (adj.) "ministerial," from Latin ministerium (see ministry). The connecting notion is via the jester, etc., as a court position.

Specific sense of "musician" developed in Old French, but in English until 16c. the word was used of anyone (singers, storytellers, jugglers, buffoons) whose profession was to entertain patrons. Only in 18c. was the word limited, in a historical sense, to "medieval singer of heroic or lyric poetry who accompanied himself on a stringed instrument." Reference to blackface music acts in U.S. is from 1843.
minstrelsy (n.) Look up minstrelsy at Dictionary.com
c.1300, menstracie, "music as produced on an instrument; action of making music for entertainment; musicians or entertainers generally," from Anglo-French menestralsie, from Old French menestrel (see minstrel).
mint (n.1) Look up mint at Dictionary.com
aromatic herb, Old English minte (8c.), from West Germanic *minta (cognates: Old Saxon minta, Middle Dutch mente, Old High German minza, German Minze), a borrowing from Latin menta, mentha "mint," from Greek minthe, personified as a nymph transformed into an herb by Proserpine, probably a loan-word from a lost Mediterranean language.
mint (n.2) Look up mint at Dictionary.com
place where money is coined, early 15c., from Old English mynet "coin, coinage, money" (8c.), from West Germanic *munita (cognates: Old Saxon munita, Old Frisian menote, Middle Dutch munte, Old High German munizza, German münze), from Latin moneta "mint" (see money). Earlier word for "place where money is coined" was minter (early 12c.). General sense of "a vast sum of money" is from 1650s.
mint (v.) Look up mint at Dictionary.com
"to stamp metal to make coins," 1540s, from mint (n.2). Related: Minted; minting. Minter "one who stamps coins to create money" is from early 12c.
mint (adj.) Look up mint at Dictionary.com
"perfect" (like a freshly minted coin), 1887 (in mint condition), from mint (n.2).
minty (adj.) Look up minty at Dictionary.com
1867, from mint (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Mintiness.
minuend (n.) Look up minuend at Dictionary.com
"number from which another number is to be subtracted," 1706, from Latin minuendus (numerus), gerundive past participle of minuere "to reduce, diminish, make small" (see minus).
minuet (n.) Look up minuet at Dictionary.com
"slow dance in triple measure," 1670s, from French menuet, from Old French menuet (adj.) "small, fine, delicate, narrow," from menu "small," from Latin minutus "small, minute" (see minute (adj.)). So called from the short steps taken in the dance. Spelling influenced in English by Italian minuetto.
minus (prep.) Look up minus at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "with subtraction of," from Latin minus "less," neuter of minor "smaller," from PIE *mi-nu-, suffixed form of root *mei- (2) "small" (cognates: Latin minuere "to diminish, reduce, lessen," Greek meion "less, smaller," Old English minsian "to diminish," Sanskrit miyate "diminishes, declines," Russian men'she "less").

Mathematical use in expressions of calculation did not exist in the word in classical Latin and is probably from North Sea medieval commercial usage of Latin plus and minus to indicate surplus or deficiency of weight or measure. Origin of the "minus sign" is disputed.
minus (n.) Look up minus at Dictionary.com
1650s, from minus (prep.).
minuscule (n.) Look up minuscule at Dictionary.com
1705, "small (not capital) letter;" as an adjective, "small," from 1727 (in printing; general sense of "extremely small" by 1893), from French minuscule (17c.), from Latin minuscula, in minuscula littera "slightly smaller letter," fem. of minusculus "rather less, rather small," diminutive of minus "less" (see minus). Related: Minuscular.
minute (n.) Look up minute at Dictionary.com
"sixtieth part of an hour or degree," late 14c., from Old French minut (13c.) or directly from Medieval Latin minuta "minute, short note," from Latin minuta, noun use of fem. of minutus "small, minute" (see minute (adj.)). In Medieval Latin, pars minuta prima "first small part" was used by mathematician Ptolemy for one-sixtieth of a circle, later of an hour (next in order was secunda minuta, which became second (n.)). German Minute, Dutch minuut also are from French. Used vaguely for "short time" from late 14c. As a measure expressing distance (travel time) by 1886. Minute hand is attested from 1726.
minute (adj.) Look up minute at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "chopped small," from Latin minutus "little, small, minute," past participle of minuere "to lessen, diminish" (see minus). Meaning "very small in size or degree" is attested from 1620s. Related: Minutely; minuteness.
minuteman (n.) Look up minuteman at Dictionary.com
U.S. history, one of a class of militia available for immediate service (i.e. "ready in a matter of minutes"), 1774. As the name of a type of ICBM, from 1961, so called because they could be launched with very little preparation.
minutes (n.) Look up minutes at Dictionary.com
"record of proceedings," c.1710, perhaps from Latin minuta scriptura "rough notes," literally "small writing;" see minute (adj.). Minute "rough draft" is attested from c.1500.
minutia (n.) Look up minutia at Dictionary.com
1751, plural minutiae, from Latin minutia "smallness" (plural minutiae, in Late Latin "trifles"), from minutus "small" (see minute (adj.)).
minutiae (n.) Look up minutiae at Dictionary.com
1751, plural of Latin minutia "smallness" (see minutia); hence, in plural, "trifles."
minx (n.) Look up minx at Dictionary.com
1540s, mynx "pet dog," later "a young, pert, wanton girl" [Johnson] (1590s), of uncertain origin, perhaps a shortening of minikin "girl, woman," from Middle Dutch minnekijn "darling, beloved," from minne "love" (see minnesinger) + -kijn, diminutive suffix. Klein's sources suggest the word is from Low German minsk "a man," also "an impudent woman," related to German Mensch (see mensch), which also has a sense in vulgar use of "wench, hussy, slut."
Miocene (adj.) Look up Miocene at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to the geological period between the Oligocene and Pliocene," 1831, irregular formation from Greek meion "less" + -cene.
A typical example of the monstrosities with which scientific men in want of a label for something, and indifferent to all beyond their own province, defile the language. The elements of the word are Greek, but not the way they are put together, nor the meaning demanded of the compound. [Fowler]
miosis (n.) Look up miosis at Dictionary.com
1819, from Greek myein "to shut (the eyes)" + -osis. Greek myein is perhaps originally "to close the lips," from PIE *meue- "to be silent" (see mute (adj.)). Related: Miotic.
Mir Look up Mir at Dictionary.com
late 20c. space station, from Russian, literally "peace, world," also "village, community," from Old Church Slavonic miru "peace," from Proto-Slavic *miru "commune, joy, peace" ("possibly borrowed from Iranian" [Watkins]), from PIE root *mei- "to bind" (see mitre). Old Church Slavonic miru was "used in Christian terminology as a collective 'community of peace' " [Buck], translating Greek kosmos. Hence, "the known world, mankind."
mirabile dictu Look up mirabile dictu at Dictionary.com
1831, Latin, literally "wonderful to relate." Found in Virgil.
miracle (n.) Look up miracle at Dictionary.com
mid-12c., "a wondrous work of God," from Old French miracle (11c.) "miracle, story of a miracle, miracle play," from Latin miraculum "object of wonder" (in Church Latin, "marvelous event caused by God"), from mirari "to wonder at, marvel, be astonished," figuratively "to regard, esteem," from mirus "wonderful, astonishing, amazing," earlier *smeiros, from PIE *smei- "to smile, laugh" (cognates: Sanskrit smerah "smiling," Greek meidan "to smile," Old Church Slavonic smejo "to laugh;" see smile (v.)).

From mid-13c. as "extraordinary or remarkable feat," without regard to deity. Replaced Old English wundortacen, wundorweorc. The Greek words rendered as miracle in the English bibles were semeion "sign," teras "wonder," and dynamis "power," in Vulgate translated respectively as signum, prodigium, and virtus. The Latin word is the source of Spanish milagro, Italian miracolo.
miraculous (adj.) Look up miraculous at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French miraculeux, from Medieval Latin miraculosus, from Latin miraculum "miracle, marvel, wonder" (see miracle). Related: Miraculously (early 15c.); miraculousness.