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In the back of Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait a miniature reflection of the scene is painted, and, surrounding it, even smaller miniatures of Christ


From the Italian miniatura (manuscript illumination), from miniare (to illuminate), from the Latin miniāre (to colour red), from minium (red lead).



miniature ‎(plural miniatures)

  1. Greatly diminished size or form; reduced scale.
  2. A small version of something; a model of reduced scale.
    There was a miniature of a whaling ship in a glass bottle over the mantlepiece.
  3. A small, highly detailed painting, a portrait miniature.
  4. The art of painting such highly detailed miniature works.
  5. An illustration in an illuminated manuscript.
  6. A musical composition which is short in duration.
    Sacha composed a miniature for strings as a final project at the conservatory.
  7. (gaming) A token in a game representing a unit or character.
    Jack had dozens of miniatures of Napoleonic footsoldiers painted in detailed period regalia for his wargames.
  8. Lettering in red; rubric distinction.
  9. A particular feature or trait.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Massinger to this entry?)


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Derived terms[edit]


miniature ‎(comparative more miniature, superlative most miniature)

  1. Smaller than normal.
    • 2013 September 6, Alok Jha, “Miniature brains grown in lab”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 13, page 39: 
      Scientists have grown miniature human brains in test tubes, creating a "tool" that will allow them to watch how the organs develop in the womb and, they hope, increase their understanding of neurological and mental problems. ¶ Just a few millimetres across, the "cerebral organoids" are built up of layers of brain cells with defined regions that resemble those seen in immature, embryonic brains.
    I find miniature dogs annoying; they seem to yap more than full-size dogs.

Derived terms[edit]



miniature ‎(third-person singular simple present miniatures, present participle miniaturing, simple past and past participle miniatured)

  1. (transitive) To make smaller than normal; to reproduce in miniature.


French Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fr


miniature f ‎(plural miniatures)

  1. miniature

External links[edit]



miniature f

  1. plural of miniatura