Online Encyclopedia

MINUTE (Lat. minutes, small; minuere,...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 565 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MINUTE (Lat. minutes, small; minuere, to make less), an adjective meaning of very small size, petty or trifling; also extremely precise. In this sense the word is pronounced mi-mite. As a substantive and pronounced minnit the word (usually in the plural) is applied to a written summary of the transactions of a meeting of a public or other body, or to a memorandum of instructions, &c. A Treasury minute in the United Kingdom is an official memorandum authorizing certain procedure. " To minute " is to draw up such a summary or memorandum. More particularly, " minute " is used of the sixtieth part of any unit); in time, of an hour; and in astronomy, geometry, geography, &c., of a degree in the measurement of a circle. The sexagesimal system of division was originally used by the ancient Babylonian astronomers, was adopted by Ptolemy; and the sixtieth part of a degree, and its further subdivision into sixty parts, was called in Latin pars minutae primae, and pars minutae secundae respectively, hence the English " minute " and " second."
End of Article: MINUTE (Lat. minutes, small; minuere, to make less)

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