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MINIM (adapted from Lat. minimus, the smallest; a superlative formed from the Indo-Germanic root min-, small), the smallest possible part of a thing, a particle. In music the name “minin” (nota minima) was given by medieval musicians to a note whose value was half a semibreve. It was, as its name implies, the note of the shortest duration then in use. In modern music several notes of lesser values, as the “crotchet” and “quaver,” have been added, and the minim is now about halfway in the scale of “values.” According to Thomas Morley (A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practical Music, 1597), its introduction into manuscript music is ascribed to Phillipus de Vitriaco, a musician of the 14th century.

In medicine a minim is the smallest fluid measure, being equal to one drop. Sixty minims make a fluid drachm.

For the religious Order known as “Minim” see Francis of Paola, St.