- The definition of maximum is the largest number or highest number of something that is permissible or possible.
When you are going as fast a the car will possibly allow, this is an example of reaching the maximum speed.
This is the maximum speed allowed on this road.
maximum
noun
pl. maximums or maxima- the greatest quantity, number, or degree possible or permissible
- the highest degree or point (of a varying quantity, as temperature) reached or recorded; upper limit of variation
- Math. the largest of a specified set of real numbers
Origin of maximum
Classical Latin neuter of maximus, superlative of magnus, great: see magni-adjective
- greatest possible, permissible, or reached
- of, marking, or setting a maximum or maximums
maximum
noun
pl. max·i·mums or max·i·ma- a. The greatest possible quantity or degree.b. The greatest quantity or degree reached or recorded; the upper limit of variation.c. The time or period during which the highest point or degree is attained.
- An upper limit permitted by law or other authority.
- Astronomy a. The moment when a variable star is most brilliant.b. The magnitude of the star at such a moment.
- Mathematics a. The greatest value assumed by a function over a given interval.b. The largest number in a set.
adjective
- Having or being the greatest quantity or the highest degree that has been or can be attained: maximum temperature.
- Of, relating to, or making up a maximum: a maximum number in a series.
Origin of maximum
Latin, from neuter of maximus, greatest; see meg- in Indo-European roots.maximum
Noun
(plural maxima or maximums)
- The highest limit.
- (mathematics) The greatest value of a set or other mathematical structure, especially the global maximum or a local maximum of a function.
- (analysis) An upper bound of a set which is also an element of that set.
- (statistics) The largest value of a batch or sample or the upper bound of a probability distribution.
- (colloquial, snooker) A 147 break; the highest possible break.
- (colloquial, darts) A score of 180 with three darts.
- (colloquial, cricket) A scoring shot for 6 runs.
Usage notes
- Maxima is the more common plural, especially for the technical senses.
Antonyms
Adjective
(not comparable)
- To the highest degree.
- Use the proper dose for the maximum effect.
- supremum
Origin
French from Latin maximum.