- a small painting or illuminated letter, as in a medieval manuscript
- a very small painting, esp. a portrait, done on ivory, vellum, etc.
- the art of making such paintings
- a copy or model on a very small scale
- a breed of animal or plant much smaller than the ordinary or traditional type
Origin of miniatureItalian miniatura, rubrication, illumination of manuscripts from Medieval Latin from past participle of Classical Latin miniare, to paint red from minium, red lead (see minium): sense influenced, influence by Classical Latin minutus, minute