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titular, real, substantial, significant


Deceit and Pretense, Middle School 8, Subtle and Indirect



How to pronounce nominal (audio)


Dictionary definition of nominal

Existing in name only, without having any real substance or value.
"The nominal charge for shipping was included in the purchase price."

Detailed meaning of nominal

When something is referred to as nominal, it is typically of minimal significance or importance, and is used as a label or formality rather than a true representation of something. For example, a nominal salary is a small amount of money given as a formality, but not enough to cover living expenses. A nominal role refers to a position or title that exists in name only and has little actual power or responsibility. In general, the term "nominal" is used to describe something that is not genuine or authentic, and is used as a placeholder or token rather than a real representation of something.

Example sentences containing nominal

1. The price increase was nominal, so it didn't affect sales.
2. They charged a nominal fee for the service, making it accessible to everyone.
3. Our progress was nominal, yet it was better than being stagnant.
4. The nominal leader of the organization lacked real power.
5. We received a nominal sum as compensation for our efforts.
6. The adjustments to the procedure were nominal and didn't affect the outcome.

History and etymology of nominal

The adjective 'nominal' has its etymological roots in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'nomen,' which means 'name' or 'noun.' In its original sense, 'nominal' referred to something that existed in name only, without having any real substance or value. It emphasized the idea that while a thing might be called by a particular name or have a nominal designation, it lacked genuine significance or material content. Over time, 'nominal' evolved to describe anything that is relatively small or token in value or amount, often as compared to its name or label. This etymology highlights the historical connection between the concept of naming and the notion of something being only superficially or symbolically real, rather than substantial or meaningful.

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Further usage examples of nominal

1. He holds a nominal position in the company without any real authority.
2. The effects of the policy change were nominal, barely noticeable.
3. I paid a nominal amount for the entrance to the museum.
4. She received a nominal salary for her work as an intern.
5. The nominal value of the antique was much lower than its true worth.
6. The damage to the car was nominal and easily repaired.
7. The difference in quality between the two products was only nominal.
8. Despite his nominal title, he had no real influence over the decisions.
9. I am willing to pay a nominal price for this service.
10. Our team achieved nominal success in the initial stages of the project.
11. The increase in production costs was only nominal, so we continued with our plan.
12. The nominal ruler had no real authority, merely serving as a figurehead.
13. They asked for a nominal donation to support their cause.
14. I hold a nominal stake in the company, but it still gives me a voice.

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