1961, abbreviation of mini-car, a small car made by British Leyland (formerly British Motor Corp.). As an abbreviation of miniskirt, it is attested from 1966.
"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]
1957, "make an electronic noise" (originally in reference to Sputnik), from bleep (n.); specific sense of "edit a sound over a word deemed unfit for broadcast" is from 1964. Related: Bleeped; bleeping. Bleeper "pager consisting of a mini radio receiver that announces reception of signals by emitting a bleeping noise" is from 1964.
1580s, "a reduced image, anything represented on a greatly reduced scale," especially a painting of very small dimensions, from Italian miniatura "manuscript illumination or small picture," from past participle of miniare "to illuminate a manuscript," from Latin miniare "to paint red," from minium "red lead," used in ancient times to make red ink, a word said to be of Iberian origin. Sense development is because pictures in medieval manuscripts were small, but no doubt there was influence as well from the similar-sounding Latin words that express smallness: minor, minimus, minutus, etc.
1560s, in religion, "pertaining to the office, character, or habits of a clergyman;" 1650s, in politics, "of or pertaining to a minister or ministry of the state;" in some uses from French ministériel and directly from Medieval Latin ministerialis "pertaining to service, of a minister," from Latin ministerium "office, service, attendance, ministry," from minister "inferior, servant, priest's assistant" (see minister (n.)). In some cases probably directly from minister or ministry. Related: Ministerially.
1520s, "the business or work of a miner," verbal noun from mine (v.1). From c. 1300 as "the undermining of walls or towers in a military attack." Mining-camp "temporary settlement for mining purposes" is by 1853, in a California context.
"ordained ministers of a (Lutheran) church district," 1818, from Latin ministerium (see ministry).