minute (n.)

"sixtieth part of an hour or degree of a circle," late 14c., from Old French minut (13c.) or directly from Medieval Latin minuta "minute of time; short note," from Latin minuta "a small portion or piece," noun use of fem. of minutus "little, small, minute," past participle of minuere "to lessen, diminish" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small").

In Medieval Latin, pars minuta prima "first small part" was used by mathematician Ptolemy for one-sixtieth of a circle, later one-sixtieth 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 "hand which indicates the minutes on a clock or watch" is attested from 1726. Minute-jumper (1890) was the name for the kind of electric clock on which the hands move only at the end of each minute.

minute (adj.)

mid-15c., "chopped small," from Latin minutus "little, small, minute," past participle of minuere "to lessen, diminish" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small"). Meaning "very small in size or degree, diminutive or limited, petty" is attested from late 15c. That of "particular, closely precise or exact" is from 1680s. Related: Minutely; minuteness.

updated on January 27, 2019

Definitions of minute from WordNet
minute (n.)
a unit of time equal to 60 seconds or 1/60th of an hour;
he ran a 4 minute mile
Synonyms: min
minute (n.)
an indefinitely short time;
it only takes a minute
Synonyms: moment / mo / second / bit
minute (n.)
a particular point in time;
Synonyms: moment / second / instant
minute (n.)
a unit of angular distance equal to a 60th of a degree;
Synonyms: arcminute / minute of arc
minute (n.)
a short note;
the secretary keeps the minutes of the meeting
minute (n.)
distance measured by the time taken to cover it;
its just 10 minutes away
Synonyms: hour
minute (adj.)
infinitely or immeasurably small;
two minute whiplike threads of protoplasm
Synonyms: infinitesimal
minute (adj.)
characterized by painstaking care and detailed examination;
an exact and minute report
a minute inspection of the grounds
Synonyms: narrow
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.